The SEJ WatchDog Alert

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

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

Topics on the Beat: 

Latest WatchDog Alert Items

October 17, 2007

  • A federal jury in Toledo may soon be deciding whether some company officials engaged in a cover-up of safety problems at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant. Although the story has gotten little national attention, the Toledo Blade's Tom Henry has covered the trial in detail.

  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Oct. 16, 2007, to create a federal shield law which would offer limited protection for reporters from being compelled to disclose confidential sources.

  • Federal district judge Dee Benson ruled Oct. 9, 2007, that a group of news media companies could not have access to an investigation by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) into the Crandall Canyon mine collapse in Utah Aug. 6, which killed six miners and three workers trying to rescue them.

  • Cancer registries, which are part of the public health system help physicians collect statistics on cancer incidence and help pinpoint "cancer clusters" that may be caused by environmental factors. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) runs a surveillance system, which has a registry of cancer cases in almost every state. But the hospitals in the federal Veterans Affairs (VA) system are now saying they will not share cancer data with state registries unless the states sign restrictive agreements.