I wasn’t going to post a year-end plea on behalf of the Society of Environmental Journalists this year, where I served as the President until earlier this month. So many asks at this year-end moment, and in such a year where the needs are bottomless, and I didn’t want to add to the pile.
But IF you are still making your 2020 contributions, if you are moved by the news of journalists who have died from the coronavirus contracted while covering the pandemic to bring us news, or the staggering number of layoffs and publications permanently shuttered, I can attest to the value of your donation. SEJ has an incredible team of dedicated staff and volunteers who made it possible to ride out this year and keep the organization stable. We got money to those who needed it most, forming a rapid response grant and a Members-in-Need fund. To see more about what we accomplished this year, you can read my final President’s Letter here.
I was fortunate, teaching and writing longer-form pieces from home, able to postpone reporting trips indefinitely. But so many were out there on the frontlines, continuing to cover stories about historic hurricanes and wildfires, climate upheaval, and environmental protection rollbacks under the Trump administration that will manifest in diminished human health and a compromised natural world for a long time to come.
If you hope to see environmental journalism continue into 2021 and beyond, I invite you to join me with a contribution to SEJ. Check out our incredible (and growing) Wall of Heroes, listing some of the best journalists out there on this beat.
One big bonus this year: up to $300 in charitable giving can be deducted “above the line” from your 2020 taxable income, even if you take the standard deduction. That means everyone can receive a tax benefit from their donation to SEJ, not just those filers that itemize.
And if you can’t do anything this year, that’s fine too. No matter what, I just hope this finds you and yours safe and healthy, and staying that way as we tip into the new year.