The Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) is leading a systems-level change in journalism so that all people – no matter how or where they get their news – have access to rigorous reporting not only about problems, but about promising and evidence-based responses to them as well. This is especially critical for the coverage of our changing climate, where apocalyptic, unsolvable, doom and gloom stories far outweigh those that examine meaningful efforts to advance environmental repair, resilience and adaptation. The news plays a pivotal role in making this information widely available. More specifically, people need credible information from news sources they trust that increases their sense of possibility, and hope, in this uncertain world.
To advance this work, we are launching the Climate Beacons Initiative in partnership with Covering Climate Now and Climate Central. This year-long program (through September 2023) will bring together five newsrooms in the U.S. to work individually and collectively to transform their coverage of the changing climate throughout their organizations.
This transformational change will be grounded in just transition, which prioritizes equity in responses to address the climate crisis, and will be focused on deep engagement with the communities the newsrooms cover and serve. These newsrooms will serve as models for how other news organizations can permanently transform their coverage of the climate crisis. To achieve this goal, each newsroom will choose a Climate Fellow to take part in the Solutions Journalism Network Train-the-Trainers program (ToT). These five fellows will each create a climate solutions journalism training module that can be used to spread the practice of solutions journalism in covering our changing climate.
The initiative comes with a $20,000 stipend for the newsroom and $5,000 for the Climate Fellows.
All programming will be conducted virtually.
First application deadline: Oct. 10, 2022
Semifinalists announced: Oct. 14, 2022
Semifinalists 1:1 Calls: Oct. 24-28, 2022
Finalists application deadline: Nov. 7, 2022
Climate Beacons announced: Nov. 11, 2022
First quarterly meeting: Dec. 14, 2022
In addition to financial support, participating newsrooms will receive the following:
- Support to produce and execute projects focused on community needs and that center equity.
- Coaching and support in tracking institutional change within the newsroom.
- Support and coaching in tracking impact on community to measure the effect the newsrooms’ move from their present state of covering climate to one that is focused on solutions and equity.
- One-on-one coaching with SJN staff.
- Workshops in key issue areas conducted by SJN, Covering Climate Now and Climate Central. Workshops will be guided by the needs of five beacon newsrooms, but may focus on increasing their knowledge of climate science; deepening solutions journalism practices; training in strengths-based narrative training and how to cover climate through an environmental justice lens; revenue, audience impact and measurement training; and data training to inform their projects.
Every effort will be made to make certain quarterly meetings, coaching sessions, workshops and training are conducted based on the availability of the newsrooms and their staff.