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

June 15, 2011

  • The chemicals, the identities of which had been withheld up till now based on companies' "confidential business information" claims, are used in products like oil dispersants, air fresheners, non-stick and stain-resistant materials, fire-resistant materials, nonylphenol compounds, perfluorinated compounds, and lead.

  • It's a convenient way to access inspection, violation, and enforcement information under the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and hazardous waste laws. It's more visual than ever, and includes map interfaces and reports that help you tell your readers and viewers how pollution affects their locality.

June 1, 2011

  • The vote came on an amendment by Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) to the defense authorization bill, in response to a draft executive order from President Obama that would require federal contractors to disclose their campaign contributions. The matter remains unresolved.

  • A World Health Organization panel finds cell phone radiation might present a cancer risk , and spotlights ongoing reluctance by the Federal Communications Commission to share publicly all the health information it has on the subject — and possible complicity with industry in hushing the research.

  • If you find using the Freedom of Information Act daunting, try this open government tool conceived by journalist Michael Morisy and start-up guru Mitchell Kotler. It will embargo a journalist's request before story publication.  

  • In a court agreement filed May 22, 2011, University of Virginia agreed to release documents of former U.Va. researcher/climate scientist Michael Mann. The plaintiff is American Tradition Institute, which raises funds with the slogan "Crush Gang Green and their anti-business allies."

  • Washington Post reporter Ed O'Keefe reports that White House negotiators from both parties substantially slashed the Electronic Government Fund which "helps finance government sites that track federal data, government contracting, government information technology and overall performance."

May 18, 2011

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