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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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Latest SEJournal Issues RSS

November 3, 2021

  • Public data around environmental issues has been a thing at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for decades, ... except when it hasn’t. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox looks at how data transparency is back in fashion under the Biden EPA, and the many ways that environmental journalists can build on available datasets for their coverage.

October 27, 2021

  • Plastic waste, already the subject of preliminary international talks, could be increasingly targeted after UN meetings in early 2022. Meanwhile, this ubiquitous product is polluting land, ocean and air in its various forms, as well as through little-understood microplastic particles. The latest TipSheet has the backstory on efforts to forge an international plastics treaty, as well as ideas for how to cover plastic pollution locally.

  • Beat reporters Hal Bernton and Mark Kaufman both found the dramatic changes wrought by climate change to be at the center of their coverage — as their work was elevated to prize-winning heights. Bernton, covering climate impacts in northwestern Alaska at a large newspaper, and Kaufman, covering CO2 globally for a digital platform, talk about the lessons of their recent beat coverage with SEJournal’s Inside Story.

October 20, 2021

  • A profound tightening of companies’ environmental risk disclosure requirements may be ahead, thanks to efforts by the Biden administration’s Securities and Exchange Commission. And the new WatchDog Opinion column argues that as fossil fuel firms position themselves as part of an environmentally sound future, journalists must act too — demanding full disclosure of corporate financial risks related to climate.

  • Climate change makes flooding — and flood reporting — increasingly likely, and yet government data on flood risk often falls short. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox offers an alternative, an ambitious, peer-reviewed dataset from a unique nonprofit research outfit that offers free data aggregated to the zip code, county and congressional district levels. More on the dataset and how to use it.

October 13, 2021

  • While climate change is certainly a global phenomenon, conflicts over addressing it often turn on local concerns. Case in point: Community bans on the use of the fossil fuel methane (aka natural gas), which has in turn prompted some states to ban the bans themselves. The latest TipSheet explains the bans and how they play into the climate change debate, plus story ideas and resources.

  • How did Florida go from an uncrowded home of pine forests, wetlands and ranches to today’s sprawling subdivisions spawning environmental disaster? A new volume gains praise from BookShelf reviewer Nano Riley for its well-researched look at the unscrupulous developers who in a matter of decades carved the state’s ecosystems into lots for sale, trading its pristine beauty for an easy buck.

October 6, 2021

  • The launch of NASA’s new Landsat Earth-observing satellite is a reminder to reporters that millions of images from over five decades can help unearth many environmental trends, whether deforestation, coastal erosion, suburban sprawl or wildfire impacts. The new Reporter’s Toolbox explains how the service works and how to access the resource, along with examples of prize-winning stories.

  • A growing body of research shows the links between global warming and extreme weather. And that knowledge can help communities prepare, and assign responsibility for damages. Veteran climate journalist Bob Berwyn lays out the science of climate attribution — for heat waves, flooding, wildfires and, ironically, crop-killing freezes — and discusses its implications for future climate change policy.

  • It sometimes feels like journalists lurch from one catastrophe (or hurricane, flood, wildfire, heat wave) to the next. But that can mean missing the bigger story: Disasters, increasingly linked to climate extremes, are often interlocking events, in which one system failure causes the next and the next. The latest Backgrounder explores three case studies, and how news media can focus attention on steps toward resilience.

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