The SEJ WatchDog

The WatchDog TipSheet is a regular source of story ideas, articles, updates, events and other information with a focus on freedom-of-information issues of concern to environmental journalists in both the United States and Canada.

WatchDog is compiled, edited and written by Joseph A. Davis, who directs the WatchDog Project, an activity of SEJ's Freedom of Information Task Force that reports on secrecy trends and supports reporters' efforts to make better use of FOIA.

Journalists can track WatchDog TipSheet items for free by subscribing to the SEJournal Online, the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists, which will regularly highlight WatchDog news. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here.

WatchDog TipSheet is also available through the searchable archive below and via RSS feed.

Latest WatchDog TipSheet Items

May 11, 2016

April 27, 2016

April 13, 2016

  • Reflexive secrecy has been a hallmark of government efforts to deal with highly hazardous chemical facilities in recent decades. Another reminder of that secrecy came in an April 11, 2016, piece in Greenwire by Sam Pearson.  Photo: The fertilizer plant in West, Texas, that exploded in 2013, killing 15 people, by Shane Torgerson, courtesy of Wikipedia.

  • Access to legislatures is critical to journalistic coverage of government — at least if government is to be accountable and democratic. So it caused a stir when Arizona House Speaker David Gowan (R) banned reporters from the floor unless they passed extensive background checks.

  • For environmental reporters, pipelines are a frequent source of major news stories. Enterprising journalists may want to find nearby pipelines before they leak or blow up. The National Pipeline Mapping System is a basic tool that can help.

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