Society of Environmental Journalists

We tell the world's most important stories

aka SEJ   |   Washington, DC   |  https://www.sej.org

Mission

The mission of the Society of Environmental Journalists is to strengthen the quality, reach and viability of journalism to advance public understanding of environmental issues. SEJ's vision: Credible and robust journalism that informs and engages society on environmental issues

Ruling year info

1990

Executive Director

Ms. Meaghan E. Parker

Main address

1629 K ST NW Suite 300

Washington, DC 20006 USA

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EIN

52-0194031

NTEE code info

Professional Societies & Associations (C03)

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

Professional Societies, Associations (W03)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Fund for Environmental Journalism, and SEJ Awards

The Fund for Environmental Journalism distributes mini-grants through two annual cycles of a competitive process to help underwrite travel costs and other direct expenses of specific reporting projects. 
https://www.sej.org/initiatives/fund-for-environmental-journalism
 
SEJ Awards recognizes excellence in environmental reporting in print, broadcast and online media, in order to build the stature and visibility of the beat, and bring great work to the attention of new audiences and media gatekeepers.
https://www.sej.org/initiatives/awards-fellowships/sej-annual-awards-reporting-environment

Population(s) Served
Adults

SEJ provides training and mentoring for environmental journalists via various methods and platforms, including timely publications to help journalists cover emerging issues; fresh Web content, tipsheets, source leads and specialized resource links; mentoring and professional sharing through robust members-only listservs and public social media; diversity, mentoring and freelance task forces; and media and technology training opportunities.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Young adults

The Freedom of Information WatchDog Project provides alerts and original reporting on environment-related FOI issues. In addition, through its FOI taskforce, SEJ engages in regular dialogue with other media organizations and government agencies to foster access to information.
https://www.sej.org/initiatives/foia/overview

Population(s) Served
Adults
Young adults

SEJ publishes specialized content tailored to the needs of journalists on a wide range of under-reported and emerging issues. Publications include TipSheet; Freedom of Information WatchDog; EJToday, a daily environmental news digest; and SEJournal.  Most content is available free to the international public via www.sej.org.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Young adults

Each year since 1991 SEJ has worked with a major research university in a different region of the country, in a partnership to make world-class learning resources available to journalists who cover complex environmental issues. Registrants participate in a comprehensive agenda of workshops, full-day reporting tours, concurrent panel and plenary sessions, news briefings, exhibits and special events. SEJ conferences consistently draw 350 to 425 journalists, students and educators and an equal number of scientists, researchers, government officials, environmental leaders, representatives of businesses and industries, philanthropists, and others concerned with media coverage of environmental issues. Agenda planners tap experts and key players throughout the region, from top researchers with the host university to far-flung high-level speakers on key national and global issues of the year.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Young adults

Where we work

Awards

Gulbenkian International Prize 2010

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Affiliations & memberships

World Federation of Science Journalists 2020

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SEJ defines its strategic position as the ultimate resource for journalists who cover environment-related issues and change agent for more and better environmental coverage. The purpose of all programs and services is to:

• build a stronger, better-educated, and more closely connected network of journalists who are reporting on environment-related issues; and
• improve and increase news coverage of critically important environmental issues across all media platforms, to inform an engage all communities.

SEJ must build and maintain its membership.
SEJ must provide opportunities for member-to-member engagement and communication on topics of professional interest.
SEJ must provide members and other journalists with opportunities for cutting-edge learning and career development on environmental topics and best practices in journalism.
SEJ must cultivate relationships that help enhance the quality, credibility, reach and viability of environmental journalism and that help build the organization.
SEJ must generate and maintain the financial and organizational resources to achieve its mission and objectives in both the short and long term.

SEJ's programs and collaborative efforts connect and educate journalists, and advocate for transparency to address the stated goals of the organization.

More than 1,500 professional journalists are engaged in SEJ. Their work is published or broadcast on a routine basis through more than 2,000 media outlets (freelancers have multiple clients). We extrapolate that tens of thousands of news items in print, online and broadcast media were informed or generated during this grant period through SEJ events, publications and programs. Hundreds of thousands of people read, saw or heard these reports on energy issues, climate change, sustainable agriculture, water quality issues, environment and economy, and more through print, broadcast and online news media.

SEJ members told us of specific instances when their work had observable impact in communities they serve. For example, in Louisville, the governing body of the water management agency was completely revamped after close reporting on failures and concerns (Courier-Journal). Members with Inside Climate News drew national attention to a domestic oil spill through Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage. Online coverage of toxic additives to sports drinks spurred a teenager to mount protest campaign that led the company to change its formula (Environmental Health News).

Financials

Society of Environmental Journalists
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Society of Environmental Journalists

Board of directors
as of 11/18/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Sadie Babits

Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Term: 2020 - 2023

Jennifer Bogo

Vice President of Content, National Audubon Society

Michael Kodas

Senior Editor, Inside Climate News

Sadie Babits

Sustainability Director, Cronkite News

Laura Paskus

Correspondent and producer, New Mexico In Focus

Sara Shipley Hiles

Associate Professor, University of Missouri School of Journalism

Kathiann Kowalski

Freelance Journalist

Donovan Quintero

Reporter and photographer, Navajo Times

Sara Schonhardt

International Climate Reporter, E&E News

Luke Runyon

Reporter, KUNC

Sam Eaton

National Correspondent, Newsy

Rico Moore

Freelance Journalist

Tony Barboza

Editorial Writer, Los Angeles Times

Mark Schapiro

Independent Journalist

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/02/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.