TipSheet

TipSheet is a weekly source for story ideas, background, interview leads and reporting tools for journalists who cover news of the environment.

  • For questions and comments, or to suggest future TipSheets, email the SEJournal TipSheet editor Joseph A. Davis at sej@sej.org.
  • Journalists can receive TipSheet free by subscribing to the SEJournal Online, the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here. TipSheet is also available through the searchable archive below and via RSS feed.
  • Also see searchable archives of SEJ's WatchDog TipSheet, featuring 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.

Latest TipSheet Items

May 15, 2019

  • It’s a good case for the global-local nexus: The potent greenhouse gas methane may be leaking from your local landfill. And this week’s TipSheet explains the latest news developments in this long-standing controversy, as well as policy disputes over capturing the gas. Plus, get story ideas and questions to ask for your local reporting.

May 8, 2019

  • Happen to have any air breathers in your audience? Then the latest State of the Air Report will give you fodder to cover the persistent pollution problems that plague the skies. This week’s TipSheet has the backstory on the fight against air pollution and five smart ways to tell the story from a local-regional context.

May 1, 2019

  • As a battle brews over which U.S. waters are protected, environmental journalists can use an invaluable national database to pinpoint vulnerable wetlands. This week’s TipSheet has more on the National Wetlands Inventory, the backstory on wetlands protection, why it matters, and reporting resources and story ideas.

April 24, 2019

  • The latest release of the annual endangered rivers list provides boatloads of environmental reporting angles, including climate change-related threats like flooding and drought. This week’s TipSheet has the backstory and the new top-10 list, plus 10 suggested starting points for stories and a half-dozen key reporting resources.

April 17, 2019

  • The Toxics Release Inventory database, refreshed annually, has long been the foundation of many a good environmental news story. The latest release is now out, and this week’s TipSheet reminds journalists why the searchable online TRI can be such a valuable reporting tool in tracking toxic dangers.

April 10, 2019

  • The first state ban on styrofoam food containers makes this a good time to see how things stand with styrofoam in your area, as the controversial plastic draws negative attention for overflowing landfills, causing litter and polluting waters. More, plus story ideas and reporting resources, in this week’s TipSheet.

April 3, 2019

  • Seemingly healthy foods might not be as healthy as consumers believe. A new list tracking pesticide residue tells a different story, explains this week’s SEJournal TipSheet. Find out what iconic health food is on the “Dirty Dozen” list and which healthy standby makes the “Clean Fifteen.” Plus, the backstory, why pesticide residue matters and resources to report on the issue.

March 27, 2019

  • With flood-ravaged Midwestern states in the news, it’s time to ask whether your own community is ready for the “big one.” This week’s TipSheet offers a 10-point Resiliency Checklist to focus your reporting. Track the vulnerability of infrastructure like drinking water and sewage plants, roads, bridges and levees, the adequacy of flood insurance and much more.

March 20, 2019

  • Drinking water contaminated with PFAS for years has caused worry, even outrage, in local communities affected by the toxic chemicals. Now, a military database may help reporters locate contamination sites. This week’s TipSheet has more on the database, along with tips for evaluating your local PFAS story.

March 13, 2019

  • Hundreds of coal ash ponds and landfills around the United States pollute drinking water supplies, and now a newly released report helps localize the problem for environmental reporters. This week’s TipSheet explores the new data source, provides the back story on coal ash regulation (or lack thereof) and the potential health risks, while offering numerous questions to ask and resources to track down.

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