Memo to Energy, Business, Science and Health Reporters

March 1, 2016

SEJ President’s Report

By JEFF BURNSIDE

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MEMO

TO:  Energy Reporters
        Business Reporters
        Science Reporters
        Health Reporters

FROM: The Society of Environmental Journalists

DATE: Today

RE: SEJ is a great fit for you

Fellow Journalists,
We have a lot in common. We’ve read many of your stories on issues surrounding energy, business, science and health. We couldn’t help noticing a common link in so many of your stories: The environment.

Those of us at the Society of Environmental Journalists think we are a very good fit for you. We want you to find a home with SEJ. We invite you to join for quite a few reasons:

  1. Our robust programming, training, conversations and tip sheets frequently cover enormous numbers of issues close to you.
  2. When like-minded journalists associate together, it creates a synergy vastly stronger than the sum of the parts.
  3. Our members cover your issues more than you might realize.
  4. In fact, among our 1,200 members (and growing) are many of your colleagues.

“For science journalists…nowhere is there a better organization that can help…
than the Society of Environmental Journalists.”
“Put it this way, if I had to choose only one journalism organization to belong
to — and luckily I don’t — the choice would be easy: The Society of Environmental
Journalists.”

— Seth Borenstein, Associated Press

EXPANDING YOUR BASE
Journalists can and should be prepared to cover the broad and rapidly growing spectrum of stories that involve an environmental angle. Just think about all the energy, business, science and health stories that involved some element of the environment. If you want to remain as competitive as you can — especially freelance or independent journalists — staying in the loop on these issues is just plain smart. SEJ can plug you in, introduce you to sources and leads, evolving techniques and training, and keep you plugged in as things change rapidly. Especially in journalism, change is the only constant. In some respects, change is what journalism is about.

VIRTUAL NEWSROOM
One of the hallmarks of SEJ is that we serve as an effective virtual newsroom for many kinds of reporters: energy, business, science and health. This virtual newsroom offers tips, sources, feedback, encouragement, training and a collegial atmosphere.

FOI ISSUES
Together, we fight for access for all journalists. SEJ is among the leaders in fighting for access to information from government. Indeed, our feisty Freedom of Information Task Force helped push for a meeting recently held at The White House with Josh Earnest, and voiced specific and deep concerns about the lack of access to federal sources and information.

SEJ’S HIGHLY REGARDED ANNUAL CONFERENCE
SEJ’s big tent is perhaps best measured by our highly regarded annual conference, which features hundreds and hundreds of journalists from nearly every state and dozens of nations, experts and panels on your very issues, field trips that get you into the action and more. Not only can you learn from our conferences but you can also file stories on the spot or down the road.

FORECASTING ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT ISSUES
In partnership with The Wilson Center think tank, SEJ co-hosts an annual forum of top journalists who peer into the coming year to forecast which energy and environment issues will make headlines. The forum is valuable not only for fellow journalists but draws an enormous cross section of stakeholders who want to know what top journalists think.

And did we mention that joining SEJ is inexpensive? We think there’s no better investment among any journalism associations.

We’re all waiting for you at www.sej.org.

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Jeff Burnside is a senior investigative reporter with KOMO television, Seattle’s ABC station, and has served on the SEJ Board for eight years. He’s been awarded several working fellowships and is the recipient of more than 20 journalism awards. A Seattle native, he has reported on coral reef decline, overfishing, killer whales and biomedical research, from locales like Berlin, Bali, the Arctic Circle, Panamanian jungles, and throughout the Caribbean, Hawaii and the Everglades.

* From the quarterly news magazine SEJournal, Spring 2016. Each new issue of SEJournal is available to members and subscribers only; find subscription information here or learn how to join SEJ. Past issues are archived for the public here.