The SEJ WatchDog

 

The WatchDog TipSheet is a monthly source of 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.

Journalists can receive WatchDog TipSheet free by subscribing to the SEJournal Online, the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here

WatchDog TipSheet is also available through the searchable archive below and via RSS feed.

Latest WatchDog TipSheet Items

May 16, 2017

  • In the second of a two-part WatchDog TipSheet on the relationship between journalists and whistleblowers, we take a closer look at how to apply basic security measures, the importance of obtaining documents and understanding the legal status of leaked information. And in case you missed it, Part One of the series. 

May 9, 2017

  • In the first of a two-part WatchDog TipSheet, we explore the relationship between journalist and anonymous leaker. How to find whistleblowers, build their trust and establish groundrules that work for you. Also, when not to rely on anonymous leaks. Next week: Security, documentation and the law around leaks.

April 11, 2017

  • As journalists ramp up the cultivation of potential sources within government, WatchDog provides a guide to leaking and whistleblowing. What actions does the law cover? How are whistleblowers protected? What about reporter-source privilege and shield laws? Plus, is there a U.S. EPA policy on talking to media anyway?

March 14, 2017

  • As SEJournal's part during Sunshine Week, we've put together a step-by-step for filing your own Freedom of Information Act requests. Find out about best practices for waiving fees, expediting requests, pushing back on exemptions, appealing FOIA denials and using state open-records laws. [Image: © Clipart.com]

  • It's Sunshine Week, and open government events are scheduled around the United States. This month's WatchDog TipSheet has a rundown, plus news on SEJ concerns over restrictions to press access at FERC meetings, on a 7,564-page FOIA email dump on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and more. 

February 14, 2017

January 24, 2017

December 20, 2016

November 22, 2016

  • A flap over pool coverage of President-elect Trump may prove a prologue to new challenges for the news media. Will journalists have access to the sources and information needed to do their jobs, including covering coming policy battles over the environment? Our WatchDog editor reads the signals on press relations under a Trump Administration. Photo: By Marc Nozell (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0].

October 26, 2016

  • The vast coal seams below federally owned lands in the West are a resource owned by the American people as a whole — and when rights to mine them are sold to coal companies, it is supposed to be on terms that are in the public interest. So you'd think public scrutiny via open information would be a given. The Interior Department says not, recently denying a FOIA request for this information. Image: © Clipart.com.

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