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 7, 2008

  • House and Senate conferees have dropped from the 2007 Farm Bill language that would keep secret the names and addresses of feedlot operators. Faced with recent defeats in both Congress and the courts, the USDA and meat industry, both of whom seem determined to keep such information secret, may be shifting their strategy to trying to accomplish the same result by using Privacy Act regulations.

  • The Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) joined other journalism groups May 6, 2008, in filing a "friend of the court" brief in a Washington state lawsuit seeking access to public officials' e-mails under state law.

April 23, 2008

April 9, 2008

  • Under industry pressure, the U.S. Agriculture Department is considering hiding from consumers information about which retailers might be selling the tainted meat recalled because of health and safety risks.

  • "Attorney General Michael Mukasey and three other top Bush administration officials are weighing in against legislation that would allow reporters to protect the identities of confidential sources..."

  • "'If you're going to start taking pictures of me, you're liable to get shot,' the chairman of one of the country's biggest coal mining companies, Don Blankenship of Massey Energy, told an ABC News reporter before grabbing the reporter's camera,"

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