The SEJ WatchDog


The WatchDog TipSheet is a monthly 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.

Journalists can receive WatchDog TipSheet free by subscribing to the SEJournal Online, the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here

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

Latest WatchDog TipSheet Items

December 12, 2007

November 28, 2007

  • The Oct. 18, 2007 issue of Congressional Research Service has published a useful backgrounder on the current lack of a "shield law" protecting reporters from legal penalties, including jail, when they refuse prosecutors' requests to disclose the identities of confidential sources.

  • The House Resources Committee will hold a hearing Dec. 12, 2007, to air concerns that proposed Interior Department rules requiring fees and permits for photography and sound recording on public lands could limit freedom of the press.

  • Even as major companies recalled their shipments of hamburgers made with possibly tainted meat, beef and pork lobbyists worked hard to keep U.S meat eaters from finding out what was going on. They lobbied to amend the Farm Bill to include secrecy language that would make make it illegal for anyone to publicly disclose such information. SEJ and other journalism organization are urging senators to remove that language from the bill.

  • Shirley E. Scheier, a University of Washington fine-arts professor, was handcuffed, frisked, and detained for 44 minutes when she took some art photos of powerlines against the sky in Snohomish County, Washington.

  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has slightly relaxed some requirements for secrecy on decisions it makes on "critical energy infrastructure."

October 31, 2007

  • White House edits of testimony delivered Oct. 24 to the Senate Environment Committee by Centers for Disease Control director Julie Gerberding have brought consternation from Democrats and environmentalists and a circling of wagons at the White House.