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April 11, 2018

  • The EPA turns to friendly media to share its news, while limiting access to mainstream reporters. And the agency moves to “weaponize” transparency. Those stories, plus, a new way to map political influence on environmental policy, and key reports made public, in the latest WatchDog TipSheet.

  • The Great Lakes are not only the largest fresh water system in the world, supplying drinking water to tens of millions. They also face a range of environmental woes that make them ready fodder for reporters. This week’s TipSheet runs down some ongoing developments, plus key resources to cover them.

April 4, 2018

  • A veteran freelancer struggles with tax season in the wake of an unexpected personal tragedy. But as she makes her way through a forest of forms, she offers a series of tips and observations for fellow independents, in the return of our regular Freelance Files column.

  • They may not be the sexiest topics on the environmental agenda. But building codes and zoning can become a matter of life and death when natural disasters strike. This week’s TipSheet runs down the reporting challenge when floods, earthquakes and wildfires threaten your coverage area.

  • The Society of Environmental Journalists has written EPA again, asking that its press shop stop distortions, ethically questionable treatment of journalists and appropriation of partisan news for official press releases. That, plus an update on the SEJ’s executive director search, in the latest President’s Report.

March 28, 2018

  • Lead is not just poisoning much of the U.S. drinking water supply. It’s also a threat to millions of the nation’s children, who continue to ingest lead paint chips from older housing stock decades after lead paint was banned. This week’s TipSheet explores this perennial problem and offers resources for local coverage.

  • Health risks from unsafe drinking water afflict many, not only around the world, but in the United States too, especially the poor, ethnic minorities and those in remote rural areas. The latest Issue Backgrounder looks at this undercovered environmental justice story, and offers ideas and resources for how reporters can cover it.

March 21, 2018

  • Decades after the nation’s capital began its historic cleanup, sanitary sewage still occasionally swamps the Potomac River. Are sewage systems also dumping human waste and other pollutants into waterways near you? This week’s TipSheet has the background on the problem of combined sewage overflow, as well as resources for finding out what’s happening near you.

  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at the most surprising findings from a new survey of environmental journalists. It showed a range of challenges in covering local climate change stories. And see what the group behind the survey hopes to do to help reporters and editors address these obstacles.

  • Newsroom cutbacks are among the many obstacles that environmental reporters face in reporting local climate change stories, per a new survey of members of the Society of Environmental Journalists. The study was conducted with the SEJ by the Climate Matters project at George Mason University to help identify ways to provide reporters with better tools and professional develop training. Get the full results.

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