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The Oxford Climate Journalism Network is a unique new opportunity for participating journalists and their organisations to strengthen their competences to cover climate change, not as an isolated topic, but as something that intersects with many other aspects of our lives and societies. The focus of the network is not on individual pieces of reporting, but on working with hundreds of journalists and editors from all over the world to help them rethink and develop how journalism and the news media approach one of the defining issues of our time.

 

What is the Oxford Climate Journalism Network

The Oxford Climate Journalism Network (OCJN) is a new programme at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. 

The mission of the Oxford Climate Journalism Network is to help journalists, editors, and media executives across the world develop their coverage of climate change, and support newsroom leaders in identifying and addressing the range of operational, cultural and ethical issues that can be involved in expanding their coverage of this issue. 

News media remain the most widely used source of information about climate change and how we might respond, and it is important that journalists and editors in all media organisations are equipped to cover the issue, what it means globally as well as for them and their communities, and help people understand how we might respond to it.

The network helps ensure this by providing members with a series of knowledge sessions with world-leading experts, professional forums and working groups, introductions to relevant scientists and research. 

The Oxford Climate Journalism Network was co-founded in 2021 by the Reuters Institute’s Deputy Director Meera Selva and Visiting Fellow and Advisory Board Member Wolfgang Blau. It is funded for the first year by the European Climate Foundation

What's unique about the network

The Oxford Climate Journalism Network has the unique ability to tap into the Reuters Institute’s global network of journalists and journalism researchers as well as into Oxford University’s global networks of scientists in all disciplines relevant to this programme. 

It is open not only to science, environmental or climate journalists but equally to journalists of any other vertical who are interested in adding the climate dimension to the topics they currently cover, as well as editors and news media executives. Our working assumption is that climate change is not only a topic but rather a systemic issue that affects all verticals of a typical news organisation, including its culture, lifestyle, health, technology, architecture, food, sports or travel journalism.

How the network will be structured

The Oxford Climate Journalism Network will address some of the challenges journalists find when reporting on climate change and help editors and news media executives develop their approach to these issues. It will look at how to expand coverage across different verticals, identify reliable data sources, understand complex issues and rethink beat reporting, to ensure that an understanding of environmental issues permeates all areas of the newsroom. It will be structured around four elements:

  • Online courses for practising journalists that, over 6 months, will provide members with individual support in identifying relevant sources, sessions with world-leading experts, and connect them with colleagues at other news organisations.
  • Leadership programmes for senior editors and newsroom managers from around the world selected for breadth, diversity, impact and commitment to implementing change in newsrooms.
  • Journalist Fellowships for mid-career journalists to join us in Oxford to work on projects related to different aspects of how news media approach climate change. 
  • Original academic research to track how people access climate change news in a range of countries, how and whether they share it, what they think of it, and how much trust they have in it.
How to apply for the first course

Applications to the first course of the Oxford Climate Journalism Network are open to working journalists, employed or freelance. The deadline to apply is Monday 15 November 2021.

Members are required to commit to participating in two one-hour sessions every month. The first course is scheduled to start in January 2022. Sessions will be held on Tuesdays at 13:00, UK time. When they apply, applicants must provide a letter of support from their respective editor or newsroom manager. If they are freelancers, they can provide a letter from someone they've worked with. Once you have this letter in PDF format, click on the button below and complete a short application form.

If you want to know about the Institute...
More on climate change from the Reuters Institute
  • Listen to this episode of our podcast, with Meera Selva and Wolfgang Blau discussing how newsrooms can improve their climate coverage
  • Read this chapter from our Digital News Report 2020 authored by Simge Andı on how people get their news about climate change 
  • Read this book by our Research Associate James Painter on how the news media is covering climate change. 
  • Read this piece by our contributor Laura Oliver on what solutions journalism can add to the coverage of climate change and other issues in the Global South 
  • Read this essay by Wolfgang Blau on why covering climate change requires newsroom change
  • Read this piece by Meera Selva on why we need a new local language of climate change reporting
  • Read this paper by our Journalist Fellow Adele Santelli with lessons newsrooms can learn from Brazilian journalists covering the environment and the climate crisis
Caption for the banner picture. An aerial view shows power-generating windmill turbines in a wind farm in Louverval, France in September 2021. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol