TipSheet

TipSheet is a biweekly source for story ideas, background, interview leads and reporting tools for journalists who cover news of the environment.


Latest TipSheet Items

July 27, 2022

  • Despite how it looks on annual summer “shark attack”-style TV programming, the danger sharks represent to humans is dwarfed by the danger we represent to sharks. The latest TipSheet explores how mass media can distort the reality behind sharks and miss the point of their ecological value — and sheer wonder. Get ideas to better report the real story behind sharks. 

July 13, 2022

  • Reporters needn’t always go far and wide to find environment angles. A case in point is your local farmers market, which can yield a variety of food-related stories, ranging from food justice and urban agriculture to pesticides and organics. That and a few tasty samples on the side. TipSheet takes a stroll through the aisles for the backstory, plus reporting resources and story ideas.

June 22, 2022

  • Closure plans for more than 160 coal ash facilities crisscrossing the United States are under renewed scrutiny by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a newly leaked list. The latest TipSheet credits that leak with offering local environmental reporters story leads on potential drinking water pollution in their communities. Get the details, plus story ideas and reporting resources.

June 8, 2022

  • New rules on soot may soon be on the way and will likely stir up the long-standing controversy over air pollution from particulate matter. The latest TipSheet has the backstory on the pending regulations, reviews human health impacts and offers a range of story ideas and reporting resources for environmental journalists to tell the story on a local and regional basis.

May 25, 2022

  • Millions of Americans rely on their own onsite wastewater treatment, commonly known as septic systems. And many of those systems are connected to private wells. But unless they are properly sited, designed, built and maintained, they can contaminate drinking water, bringing dangerous waterborne illnesses. The latest TipSheet explains how to turn this often ignored issue into a local story.

May 11, 2022

  • To better understand troubled bird populations and the many forces undermining them, grab some binoculars and a notebook, and catch up with your local birders, including the burgeoning number of minority birders. That’s the advice from the latest TipSheet, which offers reporting resources and numerous story ideas, including the impacts of climate change, habitat loss, water access and the “insect apocalypse.” 

April 27, 2022

  • An annual list of endangered rivers is out, but with it the journalism just begins, since there are numerous troubled river systems, most likely including one near you. The latest TipSheet details how the endangered river list can serve as a template for local reporting and provides story ideas, questions to ask and resources to tap for your coverage.

April 13, 2022

  • Lead poisoning of U.S. drinking water has been a big headline-grabber in recent years, but there’s an even bigger environmental justice crisis — toxic lead exposure from paint. The latest TipSheet reports that this overlooked school and housing issue is getting new attention, but solving it will be difficult and expensive. Get context, reporting resources and ideas to tackle the story in your community.

March 30, 2022

  • As schools (and many other institutions) around the United States relax mask mandates, questions remain about how they will keep indoor air clean and safe. The latest TipSheet takes a look at the often-underestimated risks of indoor air pollution, as well as well-known practices to clean it up. Get story ideas and resources for reporting on schools in your community.

March 16, 2022

  • It’s perhaps the ultimate local environment story — found right in your audience’s literal backyard. Pollinator gardens offer environmental journalists an opportunity not just to report on ecologically beneficial (and attractive) plantings, but also to tell the complex story of pollinators — butterflies, birds and, of course, bees. The latest TipSheet plants ideas and resources to cover the pollinator garden story.

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