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SEJournal Online is the weekly digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. SEJ members are automatically subscribed. Non-members may subscribe using the link below. Meanwhile, learn more about SEJournal Online. And send questions, comments, story ideas, articles, news briefs and tips to Editor Adam Glenn at sejournaleditor@sej.org.

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April 21, 2021

  • The tale of a toxic wastewater pit menacing a Florida community is a story that could be told in communities around the nation. As the latest TipSheet warns, these waste sites can turn into ticking time bombs. But in reporting the story locally, the first thing to know is which of the many kinds of wastewater ponds to look for. Here’s a rundown.

  • A world of unique, foraged foods is at the heart of a new book, “Eating Wild Japan: Tracking the Culture of Foraged Foods, With a Guide to Plants and Recipes,” that also delves into what is being lost with large-scale farming. Our BookShelf reviewer Melody Kemp shares the joys and the worries recounted by the author, long-time SEJer Winifred Bird.

April 14, 2021

  • The path of our planetary climate may depend largely on our transition away from energy sources that cause global warming. And that, in turn, may rely on one thing: improved batteries. The new Backgrounder explores the future of energy storage — how batteries work, the progress the technology has made and the brutal battery competition ahead between the United States and China.

  • A massive database of databases maintained by EPA tracks more than 800,000 chemicals. And while CompTox is highly technical, it’s the source for important developments that environmental journalists need to know about, among them exploring whole classes of toxic chemicals, and understanding how big data and AI is transforming their regulation. Plus, alternate sources of chemical data for your reporting needs.

  • When a Chicago-based freelancer was just about to hit the road to report a three-part story and TV segment on the potential impacts of two proposed copper mines in the Great Lakes basin, there was a little hitch: The COVID-19 pandemic hit. The new FEJ StoryLog has the story of how Lorraine Boissoneault found the flexibility to complete her grant-supported project.

April 7, 2021

  • One especially ambitious element of the Biden infrastructure plan would swap out millions of lead pipes. It’s a massive, costly endeavor, but could remove from the country’s water supply a neurotoxin that harms human health, especially of kids and the poor. TipSheet looks at the new plan and offers ideas for reporting the story in your area.

  • In Part III of our three-part series on starting your own environmental journalism podcast, SEJournal’s editors explore how to get more ears listening through marketing and promotion, as well as how to fund your podcast. And don’t forget to check out Part I, which helps you find and refine your podcast concept and Part II, which looks at podcast gear and hosting strategies.

  • An investigation into lead poisoning treatment policies prompted some very unexpected conclusions for one long-time investigative journalist, whose deeply reported and surprising projects won plaudits from judges for the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual awards. Find out how Charles Schmidt turned an aside from a source into a penetrating look at a critical public health and environmental challenge.

March 31, 2021

  • In Part II of our three-part series on starting your own environmental journalism podcast, SEJournal’s editors take a look at podcast gear and hosting strategies. Plus, check out Part I, which helps you find and refine your podcast concept. Then stay tuned next week for a look at marketing/promotion and funding.

  • The CDC, long a storied agency of serious import not just to health and science reporters, but also to environmental journalists, took a massive hit to its credibility during the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest WatchDog opinion makes the case it can do better, and offers 15 steps that may help restore the federal entity to its gold-standard days.

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