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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.

  • Independent coverage of Western Lands, the Gulf of Mexico, Peruvian Amazon and Puerto Rico will expand over the coming year through projects of SEJ’s Fund for Environmental Journalism (FEJ). The Society of Environmental Journalists has disbursed a new round of project grants to individuals and news organizations, made possible by individual gifts and foundation grants to SEJ.

March 14, 2018

  • Coal ash can contaminate surface and ground water with toxic heavy metals. But as this week’s TipSheet reports, Trump deregulation aims to loosen EPA rules on its disposal. That may mean a big local pollution story. If journalists can find the data, that is. The latest on the new rules, plus resources for coverage.

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