SEJ's accolades

"For several years I have had the occasion to work with the Society of Environmental Journalists, both as a journalist and as a funder (the Schumann Center made a substantial grant to SEJ three years ago.)

I regularly make use of their Web site, TipSheet and their freedom of information WatchDog project. Most recently I delivered the keynote address to their 2005 annual convention. My enthusiasm for these dogged, honest and essential journalists is boundless. Their work involves not just covering environmental news, but uncovering developments that communities need to know but which the powers-that-be would prefer to keep hidden. There is no other organization like SEJ in the country."
— Bill Moyers, author and broadcast journalist

"I write in support of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the extraordinary contribution Joe Davis and the WatchDog Project make in the fight for open government."
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— Pete Weitzel, coordinator, Coalition of Journalists for Open Government

"I'll work with stellar organizations like the Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Environmental Journalists to leverage our resources."
— Rick Rodriguez, president (2005 - 2006), American Society of Newspaper Editors, in a column he wrote for ASNE's magazine The American Editor, March 2005 issue, and executive editor, The Sacramento Bee

SEJ was one of the seven winners of the Society of Professional Journalists' 2003 Sunshine Awards. Through this annual awards process, which is open and not limited to journalists, SPJ's board of directors and Freedom of Information Committee recognize individuals and groups for making important contributions in the area of open government. You can see all of the winners of this year's SPJ Sunshine Awards here.

The Society of Environmental Journalists won this year for creation of the WatchDog TipSheet, which keeps an eye on FOI issues on behalf of its members. The newsletter is available to SEJ members and journalists worldwide, though it focuses on the United States. The award recognizes the work of the SEJ First Amendment Task Force, led by Ken Ward Jr., and the work of Joe Davis, TipSheet and WatchDog TipSheet editor.

The SEJ board established its First Amendment Task Force in March 2002 "to address freedom-of-information, right-to-know, and other news-gathering issues of concern to the pursuit of environmental journalism." The board gave the First Amendment Task Force these responsibilities:

  1. Monitor records access and other right-to-know issues that affect the quality and visibility of environmental journalism.
  2. Speak or write to actions that limit access to information and inhibit journalists' ability to cover the environment and related topics.
  3. Provide SEJ members with services to help them obtain and use public records, and to deal with efforts to withhold those records from them.

We encourage SEJ members to contact the Task Force chair with access issues and to visit our FOI Resources website to see just how serious we take these responsibilities. While you're there, check out the latest issue of WatchDog Tipsheet, offering searchable archives of story ideas, articles, updates, events and other information with a focus on First Amendment issues of concern to environmental journalists. Includes a database of State FOI Resources and Actions.

"I thought the SEJ conference last year [2005] was, by far, the best journalism conference I have ever attended."
— Judy Muller, broadcast journalist (ABC Nightline, World News tonight) and assistant professor, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California

"The Society of Environmental Journalists is an eminent professional organization working hard to improve standards and balance in environmental reporting. SEJ is a force for the betterment of public debate on a critical issue."
— Gregg Easterbrook, author and senior editor, The New Republic

"I am writing simply to express my support for the mission of the Society of Environmental Journalists. I am convinced that it is a worthwhile — even a necessary — organization. And in my lexicon, "necessary" is one of the highest possible forms of praise."
— Bill McKibben, author

"Having worked at a series of small-town papers, I have to say SEJ has proved an invaluable link for me. Without it, I could have never explained corporate pollution, tackled recycling and conservation issues or addressed dozens of other environmental concerns that appear in everyone's back yard, even those in small towns. Small papers, and their not-so-well paid reporters, do not have the resources to read dozens of journals, attend scientific conferences or enjoy any of the other perks that would allow a reporter to truly stay current on a complicated topic like the environment. But with SEJ's help, I have a good idea what today's environmental issues are, learn ways I can get to information and see how to make my readers understand these issues. Without this group, I know our environmental coverage would suffer greatly and probably be forever limited to breaking stories about the fight over the local landfill. Thanks for all your work SEJ."
— Katie Hetrick, Press Enterprise, Bloomsburg, PA

"Just looking through some of the archived tipsheets and frankly, I'm blown away. There's a lot of work put into those...great work. If you could, please add me to the list."
— Russell Jones, line producer, MSNBC, who found SEJ online and joined

"I look at the SEJ website religiously every day to keep up to the minute with the broad range of environmental news and environmental journalism. It has been an efficient and useful way to keep in contact with my colleagues and, when necessary, to ask for help. There is nothing else remotely like it."
— Phil Shabecoff, author; former environmental correspondent for The New York Times; former publisher, Greenwire, an environmental news service

"Thanks for recognizing the need to increase reporters of color on the environmental beat. I now know how important it is for reporters like myself to cover such issues. Before attending the conference I didn't know that there was even a career in environmental journalism, much less programs to prepare one for the field. Since returning from the conference I have written several articles and an editorial on environmental issues."
— Aileen Harris Miller, Community Review, Decatur, GA

"Bless SEJ!!! I am a returning college student majoring in environmental studies. I continue to run into reasons to pursue environmental journalism and your forum is fabulous! What a great way for people like myself to learn all about the field and how to go about streamlining my education."
— Cherie Campbell, student, OR

"I've only belonged to SEJ for three years, but I can't imagine trying to do my job without it. Environmental journalism is one of the bright spots in our profession today, and I am always astonished at the level of knowledge, commitment and creativity among my peers in SEJ. My colleagues are always "green" with envy that I have such a resource, and that environmental writers communicate with each other in a way so many other journalists don't. The listserv, SEJournal and the conferences have introduced me to stories, sources and fellow reporters that enrich my work every day. Environmental coverage would be much the poorer without the Society of Environmental Journalists."
— James Eli Shiffer, The News & Observer, Raleigh, NC

"I would be honored to serve on the advisory board of the Society of Environmental Journalists."
— Walter Cronkite, CBS news anchor, retired

The Society of Environmental Journalists
P.O. Box 2492 Jenkintown, PA 19046
Telephone: (215) 884-8174 Fax: (215) 884-8175

© 1994 Society of Environmental Journalists
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