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The new Oxford Climate Journalism Network enhances climate reporting


How can we make sure newsrooms are well-equipped to cover the climate crisis, fight misinformation and guarantee that climate reporting is not an isolated topic? These questions are what the new Oxford Climate Journalism Network will focus on.

Launched in October and funded by the European Climate Foundation, the Oxford Climate Journalism Network (OCJN) is a new programme at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. Its mission 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.

The project 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 OCJN will provide its members with unique access to world-leading experts, professional forums, relevant scientists and research to guarantee media organisations are well-equipped to cover the issue, clarifying what it means locally as well as globally, and how it is intertwined with other areas from business to politics, so they can help people understand the realities of climate change and how we might respond to them.

The climate story continues to be intimidatingly complex, unintelligibly technical and paralysingly frightening for the majority of media audiences. Instead, it could be a story also of hope, of citizen engagement, of scrutiny on the powerful – and even a chance for a fairer future based on a new social contract. For the news media to take up that challenge and fulfill their role as guardian spirit of public debate and watchdog of the powerful, climate journalism has to be moved out of the silos of science and disaster coverage and into the centre of reporting. This requires more climate literacy among all journalists, a different mindset in the newsrooms, research on audiences and creative story-telling.
Eva-Maria McCormack, ECF Executive Director Strategic Communications

To know more about the project, the structure and how to apply, visit the OCJN website. The project is open to all journalists who are interested in adding the climate dimension to the topics they currently cover, as well as editors and news media executives. Climate change is a transversal issue that affects us all, touching all verticals of a typical news organisation.

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