The SEJ WatchDog

 

Searchable archives of the biweekly WatchDog TipSheet's story ideas, articles, updates, events and other information with a focus on freedom-of-information issues of concern to environmental journalists in both the U.S. and Canada are posted here on the day of publication. Journalists are eligible for a free email subscription; send name and full contact information to the SEJ office. WatchDog TipSheet is also available via RSS feed.

Latest WatchDog TipSheet Items

May 18, 2011

  • ProPublica reporter Abrahm Lustgarten (left) revealed that some of the biggest fracking companies have been collecting extensive baseline data since 2008, keeping it concealed from public knowledge — including denying Duke University researchers the data when asked for it. The withheld data could either exonerate the companies or prove them responsible for pollution.

  • More access was urged for records on oil and gas leasing, government-issued permits and leases related to metal mining, grazing livestock on public lands, harvesting ocean fish, operating chemical plants, drilling for oil, logging, building roads or strip malls, coal mining, filling wetlands, and more.

  • By publishing the list promptly, NRC lived up to the "reading room" provisions of FOIA — which require agencies to actively publish information likely to be the subject of multiple FOIA requests. As a reporter, see what your competitors are doing. As a FOIA requester, you may learn a lot about how to write a FOIA letter that is realistic yet effective.

May 4, 2011

April 20, 2011

  • Denial of news media access to Gulf beaches has been an issue since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. There's tussling over access to (and interpretation of) scientific information on possible impacts of the spill on the Gulf ecosystem. And The Guardian obtained >30,000 pages of BP in-house memos FOIA'd by Greenpeace, which suggest BP was working hard to influence the results of the research it was paying for.

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