TipSheet

TipSheet is a weekly source for story ideas, background, interview leads and reporting tools for journalists who cover news of the environment.

Journalists can receive TipSheet free by subscribing to the SEJournal Online, the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here. TipSheet is also available through the searchable archive below and via RSS feed.

Also see searchable archives of SEJ's WatchDog TipSheet, featuring story ideas, articles, updates, events and other information with a focus on freedom-of-information issues of concern to environmental journalists in both the United States and Canada.


Latest TipSheet Items

June 22, 2011

  • Rarely will you learn from national fire coverage the names of people whose homes the fire has destroyed or threatened. Or what flooding and wildlife loss may follow a fire. That is covered by local media or not at all. Be prepared with these resources to help you.

  • Are you looking for a story of interest to consumers, retailers, manufacturers, lawyers, politicians, health officials, and editors of the business, politics, health, energy, science, and environment beats? Here are some starting points for coverage of plastics issues. Once you delve into this topic, other angles and sources will emerge.

  • There is local news in these USDA and USFWS grants. These on-the-ground projects involve specific groups and individuals, offering prime examples of programs you can investigate to see whether federal tax dollars are being effectively and efficiently spent.

June 8, 2011

  • Each decade, NOAA's National Climatic Data Center updates its data for 30-year averages for a range of climate indicators. The most widely used "normals" for the period 1981-2010 (including temperature, precipitation, snowfall, snow depth, and heating and cooling degree days) are scheduled to be released at the end of June 2011, with the rest by year end.

  • EPA has updated its Enforcement and Compliance History Online database so that  federal standards violations through 2009 can be quickly identified. For example, pick a county and quickly get a customized listing of systems that fall into categories such as serial violators, or occasional violators of things such as health-based standards or monitoring requirements.

  • Just in time for summer, 41 new segments of the US National Recreation Trails system in AL, AR, CT, FL, IL, IN, KS, MA, MD, MI, MN, NJ, NM, OK, PA, TN, and WV, covering about 650 land and water miles in 17 states, are open for business. These are part of a much larger system of about 1,100 trails spanning 13,000 miles.

  • On June 6, EPA announced a new round of grants going to nearly 200 communities in some 40 states and 3 tribal areas. Most of them go to poor and minority areas with high unemployment rates.

May 25, 2011

  • USDA evaluated numerous factors for 65,000 census tracts (clickable on the mapping tool), and found that about 10% of them, home to about 13.5 million people, are food deserts where many residents have no access to a large grocery store, due to distance, lack of a vehicle, and/or low income.

  • While it's not a done deal, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and WildEarth Guardians have agreed on a list of 251 species that warrant the most immediate attention. Not all environmental groups support the choices, though.

  • Information sessions and webinars on possible health and environmental effects of aerial-applied chemicals used to fight wildfires will be held in various locations around the country during the 45-day public comment period that ends June 27, 2011.

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