As a quake-stricken Japanese nuclear plant continues to spew radiation into the environment, journalists and people across the world are getting an unwelcome lesson in how secrecy can threaten people's health and safety. A New York Times team finally on March 16 did the story on the withholding of information. Read their coverage, as well as others.
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The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is about to release millions of feet of film containing aerial images that have been declassified. Such images have in the past been a boon to environmental research. It remains to be seen whether the contractors will charge prices that effectively prevent use by journalists and the public.Topics on the Beat:
According to the AP, the Chemical Safety Board, which has been monitoring the testing, wanted further tests to confirm whether a fundamental design flaw may have contributed to failure of the blowout preventer's control podsTopics on the Beat:
Sunshine Week is spearheaded by the American Society of News Editors with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Gridiron Club — with collaboration by a large number of coalition member groups.
Before picking up stories based on journals in the environmental sciences, reporters might pause to ask about those journals' policies on transparency and potential conflict of interest. And then ask about enforcement, and any relevant conflict declarations on the article in question.
Former National Freedom of Information director Coalition Charles N. Davis said the bill "puts Utah in a class of one, alone in an anti-democratic zone in which the governors enjoy almost carte blanche over what information they deign to share with the rabble.”
In the case of Milner v. Department of the Navy, the court rejected an expansive interpretation of the FOIA exemption on personnel matters. And in another FOIA case decided March 1, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations do not have a right of personal privacy that can prevent the federal government from disclosing records about them.
Here are links to some recent Congressional Research Service reports that may be of interest to energy and environmental journalists, courtesy of the Federation of American Scientists, a nonprofit watchdog group.
A wild horse journalist, photojournalist and correspondent for Horseback Magazine is petitioning the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to redress the inaction of a federal district court in Nevada on her request that restrictions on her access to the roundups and warehouses be lifted.Topics on the Beat:
The asbestos came to the attention of the head custodian at Somers Central High School in New York, when a chunk fell from the gymnasium ceiling onto the floor and he was asked to clean it up. Morey warned school authorities that he feared it could be asbestos. They told him to put tape over it and to drop the subject.Topics on the Beat: