SEJ's Vision and Mission logo blueVision

The public is informed on and engaged in environmental issues thanks to coverage by journalists who are inspired, supported and connected through participation in the Society of Environmental Journalists.


The mission of the Society of Environmental Journalists is to strengthen the quality, reach and viability of journalism that advances public understanding of environmental issues.


  • Public understanding of environmental issues
  • Editorial independence and transparency
  • Rigorous and unbiased reporting
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within SEJ and across news media, including reporting on environmental injustice
  • Fiscal strength and financial sustainability
  • Freedom of information and open government
  • Safe and sustainable working conditions in journalism and within SEJ
  • Environmental sustainability as an organization
  • Accurate coverage of the environment, which is critically important to the future of humanity and the planet


SEJ provides critical support to journalists of all media in their efforts to cover complex issues of the environment responsibly. SEJ addresses its mission and vision through effective programs designed by and for journalists who produce environmental coverage. Benefits and opportunities of programs and membership will be extended to journalists on varied beats, to students and all those who will be expanding and defining the field in years to come. SEJ is constantly developing new initiatives to:

  • educate on emerging issues and beat basics;
  • protect freedom of information on environment-related issues;
  • build bridges between scientists and journalists;
  • foster peer communication and networks of credible sources;
  • provide recognition of excellence and support for media projects; and
  • provide vision and leadership for the field through creative projects and strategic partnerships.


Omaha World-Herald's Nancy Gaarder, co-chair of SEJ's 2015 annual conference in Norman, Oklahoma, shares why she supports SEJ.

Through combined efforts of board, staff, members and appropriate partners, the Society of Environmental Journalists offers unique educational programs and services, primarily for professional journalists, educators and students, including annual and regional conferences, tours, meet-ups and training events; daily EJToday headlines and summaries, with supporting links; Twitter feed from @SEJorg; weekly SEJournal, TipSheet and other publications; Freedom of Information WatchDog project; SEJ Awards for Reporting on the Environment; mini grants through the Fund for Environmental Journalism; members-only listservs; mentoring program; website-based resources; and a lively membership network of journalists and academics.

SEJ also acts to raise awareness among philanthropists, editors, news managers, publishers, and other key decision-makers in the media on the value and importance of environmental news reporting. Non-members are welcome to participate in SEJ programs, especially the annual conference.

In the spirit of promoting government transparency, an informed democratic process, and press freedoms, SEJ strives to hold its own actions as a model of transparency. To that end, it is SEJ policy for all SEJ events, educational programs, services and other activities to be held on the record. Events or conference sessions held solely to facilitate story or book idea pitching to editors and/or publishers are excepted from this policy. Any additional proposed exceptions must receive approval from the Executive Committee of the SEJ Board of Directors. Exceptions to this policy granted by the SEJ Board and the terms of information use must be disclosed clearly to event speakers and attendees as soon as possible.