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SEJournal Online is the weekly digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. SEJ members are automatically subscribed. Non-members may subscribe using the link below. Meanwhile, learn more about SEJournal Online. And send questions, comments, story ideas, articles, news briefs and tips to Editor Adam Glenn at sejournaleditor@sej.org.

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March 3, 2021

  • From cardigans to orange tans, the history of presidential politics around energy efficiency has been an odd one. But the story of so-called nega-watts is actually a compelling one. And with new efficiency rules being eyed by the Biden administration, it’s also time for reporters to explore the local angle to energy savings. Our latest TipSheet explains how.

  • An initiate to the ways of teaching collegiate journalism winds her way through unique obstacles of a first term under COVID-19, from students reporting in masks to class sessions on computer screens. Not to mention the already onerous challenges of training young journalists to report and write a range of environmental stories. EJ Academy has her story, from the stumbles to the successes.

  • Government suppression of science harms not just journalists, but also the public in its ability to get crucial information and trust in science, not to mention government integrity. So now is the time, asserts the new WatchDog opinion column, for news media to engage intensely over government scientific integrity policies in the making, to be sure that agencies like the EPA get it right.

February 24, 2021

  • The power and water fiasco that followed a deep freeze in Texas was a predictable debacle and, thus, a warning signal to journalists covering disasters and climate-driven weather extremes. To help, the latest Reporter’s Toolbox provides a rundown of data sources about power grids, from local, regional and national entities, and recommends you start tracking the numbers and be prepared.

  • A straightforward but passionate new book explores efforts to save the big cat from extinction in “The Last Lions of Africa.” Our BookShelf review lauds the author for making clear the species’ complexity and the damage done by “sustainable” practices such as trophy hunting. And the loss ends not just with the lions. Read our review for the bigger picture.

February 17, 2021

  • A computer hacker nearly succeeded recently in rendering a local Florida facility a source of poisonous drinking water. And the risk of other such hacks is real, even as the vulnerabilities are hidden behind stringent U.S. secrecy laws. The latest TipSheet explores dangers to our drinking water supply — which go well beyond future hacking.

  • As Democratic New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland prepares to possibly become the first Native American Interior secretary, it's becoming clearer than ever that environmental concerns are deeply intertwined with Native American life. But news media often ignore the connections, missing important stories as a result. Our new Backgrounder helps set that to rights by spotlighting 10 key environmental issues affecting Native American communities and offering a dozen-and-a-half reporting resources. 

  • Two young journalists collaborated from continents apart — with the help of a Society of Environmental Journalists grant — to report on illicit trade in a highly prized timber. A new entry in our recently launched StoryLog column captures the whole process, from the spark of an idea, through research, a winning grant proposal, field reporting and published stories. Plus, lessons learned.

February 10, 2021

  • Reporter Kyle Bagenstose has impressed Society of Environmental Journalists’ awards judges three times in the last four years with his investigative and small-market beat reporting on local and regional issues in Pennsylvania. In our latest Inside Story Q&A, Bagenstose discusses his award-winning work as a beat reporter and his first-place investigative prize for a series on the cleanup of toxic firefighting chemicals from streams and aquifers around military bases.

  • Spring may be weeks away, but gardeners are already browsing the seed catalogs, and that makes it a good time for environmental journalists to apprise them of how climate change will affect their backyard patches. Reporter’s Toolbox talks “hardiness zones” and explains why one of the usual repositories of government information may fall short. That plus, story sources to, well, cultivate.

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