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.
The Oxford Climate Journalism Network (OCJN) works with a global community of reporters and editors across platforms and beats to improve the quality, understanding and impact of climate coverage around the world. The OCJN is a programme at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.
The mission of the OCJN is to help journalists, editors, and media executives across the world develop their coverage of climate change. Our programme also supports newsroom leaders in identifying and addressing the range of operational, cultural and ethical issues that encompass climate stories and can help expand the coverage of this issue.
News media remains the most widely used source of information about climate change and how we might respond. It is important that journalists and editors across media organisations are equipped to cover the issue both globally as well as in their own communities in order to help people understand how to respond to these changes.
The OCJN’s flagship programme is a six-month intense virtual course for practicing reporters from all beats who share a passion for improving the coverage of the climate crisis and supporting newsrooms leaders in necessary transformations. The course provides members with a series of seminars and workshops with world-leading experts. Other initiatives include annual courses for newsroom leaders, a dedicated research programme and support for mid-career journalists to work in Oxford on projects related to different aspects of how the news media approaches climate change.
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. The European Climate Foundation provided generous funding for the first year of activities. The OCJN was awarded a grant from the Laudes Foundation to continue operations until the end of 2023.
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.
The Oxford Climate Journalism Network addresses 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:
- Free 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.
Applications for the third intake of the online course of the network running from January to June 2023 have now closed. They will open again in the spring.
If you want a bespoke course for your news organisation on how to develop your coverage of the climate crisis, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you to discuss fees, details and possible dates.