Reporter's Toolbox

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Reporter's Toolbox is a regular column focused on the world of data journalism, with an emphasis on data tools, techniques and database resources that journalists can use to improve their environmental reporting.

For questions and comments, or to suggest future Reporter's Toolboxes, email Toolbox Editor Joseph A. Davis at

Journalists can receive Reporter's Toolbox free by subscribing to the SEJournal Online, the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here.

March 1, 2015

  • Climate Central science writer John Upton explains how to use the visualization tool that brings to virtual life the climate- and weather-related data generated by the 13 federal agencies that collaborate to form the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

January 15, 2014

  • Caroline D'Angelo of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting shares some of what they’ve learned about the industry so you can put it to work in repurposing your older, evergreen content and think about new ways to present future work. Photo, by PCCR's Meghan Dhaliwal: Buck Lodge Middle School students read the Center's e-book "In Search of Home."

July 15, 2013

  • Reporter's Toolbox


     When SEJ decided last year to survey members about which SEJ programs they value most, a funny thing happened – we discovered that many of the programs most popular among some members aren’t even on the radar screen for others. In fact, in com- ments at the end of the survey, some members expressed a desire for programs ... that SEJ already offers.

    We also heard from many members who seemed in responding to the survey to express doubt about how much SEJ can help them. For example:

April 15, 2013

  • InvestigateWest's Robert McClure and Jason Alcorn explain how to spin the local angle about how parks built or improved with money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund are increasingly being illegally privatized or converted to something other than parks — including sharing their searchable database of almost 40,000 park grants.

January 15, 2013

  • Find a rich collection of online resources courtesy of the National Library of Medicine and others, compiled by SEJ member and NLM technical information specialist Philip Wexler.