Journalism & Media

Houston and Other Disasters at #SEJ2022

If it often feels like the world of environmental journalism is all dour worry over our collective futures, resident humorist David Helvarg is here to remind you that our present is just as scary — if for different, and funnier, reasons. In his latest lampoon of the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conference, Helvarg shares his trademark jests from Houston. Plus, (straighter) reportage from the gathering at the conference coverage page.

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Don’t Overlook Lead Paint Toxicity Stories in Your Area

Lead poisoning of U.S. drinking water has been a big headline-grabber in recent years, but there’s an even bigger environmental justice crisis — toxic lead exposure from paint. The latest TipSheet reports that this overlooked school and housing issue is getting new attention, but solving it will be difficult and expensive. Get context, reporting resources and ideas to tackle the story in your community.

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How Ireland’s Tree Farms, Licensed With Little Environmental Assessment, Harm Biodiversity, Rural Communities

A crowdsourced, crowdfunded investigation on the damage caused by the spread of commercial spruce plantations, both to the biodiversity-rich areas of Ireland and the isolated farming communities where they are planted, was the subject of an award-winning report from journalist Niall Sargent. Find out how he ID’d the problem, overcame investigative challenges and ultimately told a human-centered, data-rich story. Our latest Inside Story Q&A.

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Battlefront Emerges Over Disclosure of Financial Climate Risks

The Biden administration’s “whole-of-government” attack on climate change has increasingly focused on the financial arena, with the most recent move a vote by the Securities and Exchange Commission to draft rules requiring publicly traded corporations to disclose climate risks. Industry and GOP opponents are preparing for the fight over the complex regulations, and WatchDog Opinion argues environmental journalists have a big stake.

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‘ECHO Notify’ Offers Automatic Pollution Alarms

Environmental journalists trying to track potential problem polluters have a valuable new tool — a notification service that creates weekly alerts on the enforcement or compliance status of facilities and companies across a range of environmental laws and customizable categories. Track geography, type of emissions, industrial category and more. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox has more on the recently launched ECHO Notify service.

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How — And Why —To Avoid Jargon When Covering Climate

Climate change reporting is sometimes peppered with jargon that confounds rather than clearly communicates. Audiences may miss not just one story’s message, but lose interest in the broader topic. Contributor Rebecca Hersher, a science reporter for National Public Radio, writes how the public’s connection with climate information increases when both journalists and scientists strive to replace elite terminology with simple and accurate language.

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Now Maskless, What Are Schools Doing in the COVID-19 Era About Clean Indoor Air?

As schools (and many other institutions) around the United States relax mask mandates, questions remain about how they will keep indoor air clean and safe. The latest TipSheet takes a look at the often-underestimated risks of indoor air pollution, as well as well-known practices to clean it up. Get story ideas and resources for reporting on schools in your community.

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Parks and Complications — Planning Stories Around Our Nation’s Green Spaces

As more Americans make their way to the nation’s parks (and every other variety of outdoor locales), big budget bumps may not be enough to tackle a variety of ongoing worries, from overcrowding and climate change impacts to maintenance backlogs and political backlash. The latest Issue Backgrounder looks over the state of our nation’s parks.

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Why the Latest TRI Update Should Be in Your Sights for Stories

Each year brings another update of the Toxics Release Inventory database. And each year, it gets ignored or downplayed by too many news outlets. As the new Reporter’s Toolbox points out, not only does the latest iteration of TRI have some notable updates but it also offers plenty of room for localizable stories. Here’s how to mine the resource.

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