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

July 25, 2017

June 27, 2017

May 30, 2017

May 16, 2017

  • In the second of a two-part WatchDog TipSheet on the relationship between journalists and whistleblowers, we take a closer look at how to apply basic security measures, the importance of obtaining documents and understanding the legal status of leaked information. And in case you missed it, Part One of the series. 

May 9, 2017

  • In the first of a two-part WatchDog TipSheet, we explore the relationship between journalist and anonymous leaker. How to find whistleblowers, build their trust and establish groundrules that work for you. Also, when not to rely on anonymous leaks. Next week: Security, documentation and the law around leaks.

April 11, 2017

  • As journalists ramp up the cultivation of potential sources within government, WatchDog provides a guide to leaking and whistleblowing. What actions does the law cover? How are whistleblowers protected? What about reporter-source privilege and shield laws? Plus, is there a U.S. EPA policy on talking to media anyway?

March 14, 2017

  • As SEJournal's part during Sunshine Week, we've put together a step-by-step for filing your own Freedom of Information Act requests. Find out about best practices for waiving fees, expediting requests, pushing back on exemptions, appealing FOIA denials and using state open-records laws. [Image: © Clipart.com]

  • It's Sunshine Week, and open government events are scheduled around the United States. This month's WatchDog TipSheet has a rundown, plus news on SEJ concerns over restrictions to press access at FERC meetings, on a 7,564-page FOIA email dump on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and more. 

February 14, 2017

January 24, 2017

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