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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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July 28, 2021

  • The origins of the struggle to protect animal welfare began with preventing the brutal mistreatment of carriage horses. And a new volume explores how one man did much to extend those protections to many species with the founding of the ASPCA. Our BookShelf has a review of “A Traitor to His Species: Henry Bergh and the Birth of the Animal Rights Movement.”

  • If you’re a freelancer with disorganized piles of 2021 receipts already gathering dust in a corner, the latest Freelance Files is for you. Globetrotting science journalist Dan Grossman shares his system (and advice from his accountant) for tracking expenses for travel, legal and professional services, business costs, home office use and more. Your Schedule C will never seem quite so disconcerting again.

July 14, 2021

  • Urban tree cover is no luxury, but rather an important environmental and public health necessity. And for years the lack of urban trees has harmed socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods. To help report on tree cover in U.S. urban areas — and to track it against environmental justice measures — the latest Reporter’s Toolbox spotlights an extensive tree equity scoring database. 

  • With heat waves driven by global warming pounding parts of the western United States this summer, environmental journalists mustn’t overlook the toll on especially vulnerable populations, among them disadvantaged groups, the elderly, those in low-income housing and more. The latest Issue Backgrounder helps reporters understand heat’s health effects, track heat-vulnerable populations and clarifies how communities can prepare and prevent the worst public health impacts.

  • A reporting team at BuzzFeed used a powerful array of data analysis techniques to arrive at a disturbing conclusion about the wintery devastation in Texas — there were far more deaths than acknowledged. But their investigation didn’t stop there. They tracked down families of the deceased to understand the human toll and pressured government over its accountability. How they got the story for “The Graveyard Doesn’t Lie.”

June 30, 2021

  • Environmental journalists around the world sometimes pay for their work with their freedom, safety or even their lives. The Forbidden Stories network continues the reporting of some of those journalists, and a team there recently produced an award-winning collaboration to investigate troubles at mining giants in Central America, South Asia and East Africa. “The Green Blood Project” in this month’s Inside Story.

  • As the solar panel business resurges, the wide scope of possible regional and local story angles — climate, tech, consumer, business, jobs, air quality and grid reliability — make bright prospects for journalists. The latest TipSheet sets out recent political and market developments, along with more than a dozen story ideas and reporting resources.

June 23, 2021

  • For reporters covering the long-standing conflict over offshore drilling, which erupted again this month after a federal judge blocked a halt to new leases, an Interior Department database offers a wealth of data about offshore wells. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox walks you through the maze of bureaucracy behind the database, and then provides detailed guidance on how to make the most of its info.

  • Leaks are a vital source of information for the news media, but shifting White House policy on pursuing the source of leaks has created confusion and worry among news practitioners. WatchDog Opinion calls for clearer signals from the Biden administration and renews support for a federal shield law to help journalists protect their sources.

June 16, 2021

  • With megadrought a growing reality, one way into the story is through ubiquitous water management agencies. TipSheet surveys the “waterscape” of these governmental bodies — from local irrigation districts to multi-state regional water compacts — and how focusing on them can yield vital insights for drought stories. Plus, questions to ask and links to reporting resources.

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