"Without a free press, the most important story on the planet won’t get out. Won’t you help SEJ fight for the right to report and spread the news the public needs to have about the state of their world?"
— Tim Wheeler, Bay Journal
December 16, 2019 — The Society of Environmental Journalists is focused like a laser on fostering “credible and robust journalism that informs and engages society on environmental issues.” But that journalism can’t be either of those things if public officials refuse to answer reporters’ questions and rebuff requests for public records.
That’s why SEJ’s other mission is to fight to uphold the First Amendment and the public’s right to know. It’s been a serious struggle lately, amid the partisan doublespeak and demonization of journalists that’s become all too common in the United States and abroad. Almost every week, it seems, there’s another threat to journalists’ ability to report and disseminate the news.
SEJ’s Freedom of Information Task Force helps identify and speak out against those threats, joining in friend-of-the-court briefs, filing comments on proposed regulations and issuing public statements. Through the work of the task force, SEJ often speaks in unison with other journalism and open-government groups on broad press freedom issues. But other times it does so on its own when the issue particularly affects journalists covering environmental issues. And to help SEJ members and other journalists get around stonewalling PIOs and file successful FOIA requests, the task force has organized how-to workshops and conference sessions.
Without a free press, the most important story on the planet won’t get out. Won’t you help SEJ fight for the right to report and spread the news the public needs to have about the state of their world?
Bay Journal, Associate Editor and Senior Writer
SEJ Member and FOI Task Force Chair
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