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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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Latest SEJournal Issues RSS

December 7, 2022

  • While carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas most often in the news, methane has greater warming power and accounts for a big chunk of the current increase in global warming. Now, growing regulatory pressure may help shift that focus and could drive more local environmental reporting, per the latest TipSheet. The backstory, plus reporting ideas and resources.

November 30, 2022

  • A new way for journalists to get more accurate numbers on global greenhouse gas emissions was introduced by former Vice President Al Gore at the recent United Nations’ climate change gathering in Egypt. Reporter’s Toolbox looks under the hood of Climate Trace, which is the result of work by more than 100 collaborators and compiles data from some 300 specialized satellites and 11,000 sensors.

  • As the dust settles on COP27, climate change news abounds. So to help environmental journalists find and report stories on the beat, SEJ Publications continues to expand its growing Climate Change Resource Guide. Explore dozens of new information sources in the just-added Disaster and Extreme Weather section. Plus, hundreds of other topical resources and more in the overarching Guide, including on deadline reporting, local reporting, science 101s, key sources and experts, news sources, and a policy and advocacy library.

November 23, 2022

  • Obama-era regulation of the toxic waste product coal ash, which was watered down in the face of resistance from coal and electric utilities and further weakened by the Trump administration, has meant many coal-fired power plants simply ignore disposal requirements. That’s per a new report that the latest TipSheet writes can offer journalists useful ways to report an overlooked environmental story in their area.

  • The Department of Justice’s new regulations around reporter’s privilege — the protection of journalistic sources and notes — is a noteworthy advance. But the WatchDog Opinion column calls for more: a federal shield law that is less vulnerable to weakening by subsequent administrations. A take on the new regs, the state of current law and prospects for congressional action.

November 16, 2022

  • The increased frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation presents environmental reporters with challenging coverage of flooding, property damage, insurance shortfalls and risk to human life, as well as about the climate change driving the downpours. The latest TipSheet offers context, story ideas and resources to cover such big storms in your area.

  • As the economic impacts of climate change intensify, reporting on how individuals are affected, particularly in the Global South, is lagging. Veteran journalist Christine Spolar at The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting details a new initiative to encourage journalists to fill this gap. The story of recent grantees Bhasker Tripathi and Susan Schulman, who have tracked job losses and migrations tied to climate change in India and Iraq.

  • When engineers reversed the Chicago River, they also upended a hydrologic system that years later required electrification to repel an invasive species threatening a major fishery. This is but one example from the latest book by New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert of the unintended consequences of human actions to dominate nature that may solve one problem only to create another. BookShelf contributor Gary Wilson has a review.

November 9, 2022

  • A new data mapper that allows users to track bird migrations is a cache of ideas for journalists looking to illustrate the connections between birds, habitats and human activity. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox takes a (non-geeky) look at the Bird Migration Explorer, how to best use it and the range of story possibilities it may yield.

  • Plans are nearing for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate PFAS in drinking water — and the complexity around the effort will challenge environmental journalism. In the mix are questions of environmental persistence and health risks, plus thorny politics. Our Issue Backgrounder has guidance on these and more as PFAS regulation hits this critical juncture.

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