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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

June 16, 2021

  • Journalist Lyndsie Bourgon had covered timber poaching in the Pacific Northwest for over a decade when she decided to expand her scope, heading to the Peruvian Amazon to explore old-growth poaching there. In FEJ StoryLog, she shares the ups and downs of that project, made possible in part by a grant from the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Fund for Environmental Journalism.

  • For a clean energy transition to succeed, it almost certainly will have to bring along displaced workers and communities. To help journalists understand the challenges underlying that shift, BookShelf’s Jenny Weeks reviews two volumes. The first is a new memoir of working in North Dakota’s booming Bakken oil fields, the second an earlier account of decline in a working-class community in Oregon.

June 9, 2021

  • With a particularly dangerous wildfire season ahead, environmental journalists can better cover the heightened risk with a specialized U.S. Forest Service database. It predicts fire risk using a range of frequently updated variables like amount and condition of fuel, drought and topography, then maps it in high resolution with overlays of human structures and populations. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox has more on the database, and details how to make smart use of it.

  • Corporate boardrooms are increasingly arenas in the fight over the future of energy and the environment, making it vital for journalists to understand the players, their motivations and the potential impacts on business planning. The new Issue Backgrounder explores the implications of recent news around investment policy, explaining some of its origins and deciphering the shifting scrimmage ahead.

June 2, 2021

  • New thinking and narratives are needed to solve complex environmental challenges like the climate crisis. But for journalists, the ongoing split between religion and environment beats hampers that effort. It’s a reality environmental journalist Meera Subramanian knows from conversations at her own kitchen table. So she helped organize a recent Society of Environmental Journalists’ webinar to explore closing the gap.

  • At least 16 states currently have critical infrastructure anti-protest laws that could sweep up journalists on the scene, reports the latest TipSheet. The laws, which more states are considering, apply to pipelines, but sometimes other facilities that impact the environment too, like powerlines, dams, port facilities and refineries. How to keep track and avoid going to jail.

  • Even with a book in the works and a pledge to not take on new projects, freelance environmental journalist Jeremy Hance couldn’t say no to a series on global insect decline. Despite missing data and numerous other challenges, the resulting project was an award-winning example of explanatory reporting. Insights and lessons learned, in the new Inside Story.

May 26, 2021

  • An unusual student journalist, moonlighting in between his Ph.D. training as a clinical psychologist, turned an interest in the ways nature can heal into an award-winning story for a prominent magazine, and in the process helped prompt skyrocketing interest among mainstream physicians in “prescribing nature.” Aaron Reuben shares his experience in the new EJ Academy.

  • U.S. forests face damage from drought, climate-driven disease and wildfire. To help track the state of our trees, Reporter’s Toolbox explores a massive set of Forest Service databases that details everything from deforestation and dead fuel status to deforestation and species mix. There’s even info on urban forests and grasslands. A closer look at the Forest Inventory and Analysis program.

  • A government website that tracked climate change is back after being frozen by the Trump administration. But the return of the EPA’s climate indicator page, argues the new WatchDog opinion column, is just one step in undoing a longer-term and more systematic assault on science that has hobbled truth-seeking journalists. WatchDog on what must come next.

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