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SEJournal is the weekly digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. SEJ members are automatically subscribed. Nonmembers may subscribe using the link below. Send questions, comments, story ideas, articles, news briefs and tips to Editor Adam Glenn at sejournaleditor@sej.org. Or contact Glenn if you're interested in joining the SEJournal volunteer editorial staff.

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September 20, 2023

  • When nations converge this fall for the latest round of annual talks on harnessing climate change, they meet at a crucial juncture. Will the increasingly dramatic impacts of global warming, and the prospects of worse, focus their attention enough to bring about progress? In this sweeping analysis, Backgrounder assesses the varied pressures at play at the coming COP28, along with tips for covering it, from up close or afar.

September 13, 2023

  • It may seem like fast-moving technology that’s undermining traditional news outlets. But for WatchDog Opinion, it may be more about the notion of news as property, rather than a public good. Could nonprofit newsrooms — many of which cover energy and the environment — be a better model? And is there a funding mechanism that would support them sustainably … and permanently?

  • Seattle-based correspondent Brett Walton has a habit of adding extra days to his reporting schedules. In this FEJ StoryLog, Walton shares how he used one such buffer to stretch a grant and produce not just one story on California’s small drinking water systems, but a second on the aftermath of wildfire on another town’s water system, plus finish a third pending project on household water debt.

  • Sometimes on the environment beat, what seems like an old story is perpetually new again. That’s the case with waste incineration, finds the latest TipSheet. Rather than being reduced, incinerators are just being transformed, with the ongoing burning of plastics especially troubling for the environment and public health. Get the backstory on where the regulatory regime may have holes, plus key reporting angles and story ideas.

September 6, 2023

  • Major storms hit hard and fast. Successful on-the-ground coverage requires advance prep and consideration of how to deal with challenges. Seasoned reporter Emily Foxhall has learned a lot from Hurricane Harvey and other disasters — sometimes the hard way. She shares tips for planning, packing and getting colleagues back home to help with logistics, plus some reminders about self-care.

  • What brought together two teams of student reporters, half a dozen states and 1,000 miles apart? For one, the high environmental cost of chemical fertilizer. For another, a pair of dedicated journalism teachers. Cynthia Barnett and Sara Shipley Hiles share how they took the project from daydream to reality, brought students into the field and got pickup from numerous news outlets, in the latest EJ Academy.

  • A decade’s worth of government pesticide data — only available before through FOIA — has been made newly available. And, explains the latest Reporter’s Toolbox, it can lead to revealing environmental, public health and environmental justice stories. More on how the data came to be compiled and advice on using it smartly, along with some caveats.

August 23, 2023

  • Long-growing concern over dangerous “forever” chemicals has drawn the attention of federal and state policymakers, local communities and the utilities that provide their drinking water. But little about regulating PFAS will be quick or easy, making it a major environmental and public health story for years to come. Issue Backgrounder unfolds the regulatory moves, the politics and the larger implications of PFAS policy.

  • As algal blooms (think “red tides” or “dead zones”) grow larger and more frequent, they are emerging not just on the coasts and major estuaries, but in inland lakes and streams. And they cause all kinds of harm, to humans and to the environment. The latest TipSheet has details on how to cover the problem locally, including story ideas and reporting resources.

August 9, 2023

  • Whether marginalized communities suffering from asthma or cities cloaked in smoke from far-away wildfires, journalists looking to connect public health and environmental concerns around air pollution will find much of the data they need via the Centers for Disease Control’s asthma surveillance data. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox outlines the source and smart ways to use it.

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