June 18, 2008–A freelance journalist is challenging in court the US Department of Agriculture's efforts to keep secret its data on who owns the feedlots Americans can see and smell, but whose pollution the food industry does not want USDA to regulate.
May 21, 2008–EPA Administrator Steven Johnson steadfastly refused to disclose to the House Oversight Committee this week almost any documents or information about his contacts with the White House. His repeated refusal to do so may set up a legislative-executive confrontation involving subpoenas, claims of executive privilege, and contempt of Congress findings.
May 21, 2008–New language added to the 2007/08 Farm Bill by conferees at the 11th hour could create a sweeping new secrecy mandate that would prohibit the Agriculture Department from disclosing almost any information about individual US farm operations.
May 21, 2008–In the old days, the newsroom at most local dailies had a police scanner squawking like a nervous parrot in the background, to get the jump in case something big happened. To get environmental news today, you need other tools.
May 7, 2008–
Hundreds of EPA scientists are complaining that they are being pressured by political appointees who run EPA to alter their scientific findings to support the administration's deregulatory agenda, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
May 7, 2008–House and Senate conferees have dropped from the 2007 Farm Bill language that would keep secret the names and addresses of feedlot operators. Faced with recent defeats in both Congress and the courts, the USDA and meat industry, both of whom seem determined to keep such information secret, may be shifting their strategy to trying to accomplish the same result by using Privacy Act regulations.
May 7, 2008–Feeling discouraged about the erosion of journalists' traditional role as watchdogs? Lighten up with the Spring 2008 issue of Nieman Reports, published by the foundation at Harvard University. Titled "21st Century Muckrakers: Who Are They? How Do They Do Their Work?" the issue includes nearly 50 articles chronicling the "Muckraker" tradition of American investigative journalism and documenting that muckraking is alive and well, even in today's digital age.