Entries Welcome for the 2023 Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards

As climate coverage improves globally, we’ve expanded our awards. We look forward to seeing your submissions!

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As news coverage of climate change continues to increase and improve globally, we’re proud to invite entries for the third annual Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards. To spotlight the accelerating climate emergency and the urgency of action, the 2023 awards will include new honors for exemplary climate solutions reporting, engagement journalism, and climate inequities coverage.

Journalists are invited to submit stories produced in 2022, a year when news organizations throughout the world produced more climate coverage than in any other year except 2021, according to a new report by the Media and Climate Change Observatory (MeCCO) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Driving the increase were a series of extreme weather events and geopolitical developments, including horrific flooding in Pakistan and devastating drought in the Horn of Africa, as well as the passage of historic climate legislation in the US and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A second study, by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University, concluded that climate coverage is not only increasing, it is improving. Once siloed to the science desk, climate coverage is now “no longer limited to one genre or beat,” according to the study. “[J]ournalists now report, inform about, and highlight wide-ranging issues, including decarbonisation and a transition to cleaner fuels, scrutinising policies, corporate strategies, and new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and discussing consumer behaviour and its consequences for climate.”

Since launching in 2021, the Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards have sought to encourage exactly the kind of exemplary climate coverage the MeCCO and Reuters Institute are now documenting. By identifying the best journalism on the beat, CCNow hopes to highlight standards of excellence that journalists and newsrooms everywhere can emulate as we work to do justice to the defining story of our time.

For the first time, this year’s CCNow awards will evaluate entries from less-resourced news outlets separately from those of better-resourced outlets. “This year, our submission process and judging panels are structured so that criteria of excellence — not of resources — shape our deliberations,” said Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of Columbia Journalism Review and chair of the Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards judging committee. “We look forward to discovering extraordinary journalism by media of all sizes anywhere in the world.”

Entries for the 2023 awards can be submitted here and will be accepted through March 15, 2023, with winners announced in late spring. We’re excited to see your submissions!

From Us

CCNow Q&A. The Washington Post’s climate and environment editor Zachary Goldfarb and deputy climate and environment editor Juliet Eilperin recently oversaw an expansion of the Post’s climate team. They talk about what they hope the climate department will achieve, their work across departments to help report the climate story, and how climate fits into the Post’s audience strategy. Read it here.

Stories on solutions. ICYMI, last month we released our new guide on climate solutions reporting across beats, produced with the Solutions Journalism Network. It coincided with a CCNow Talking Shop on climate solutions reporting. Note: The guide is now being translated into Spanish.

Noteworthy Stories

Water rights. Amid tense negotiations by several US states on cutting water use to save the Colorado River, Wall Street investment firms are increasingly buying property in the region, along with water rights, a joint investigation by CBS News and The Weather Channel found. “They’re looking to make a lot of money off this public resource,” said Andy Mueller of the Colorado River Water Conservation District. By Ben Tracy, Andy Bast, and Chris Spinder at CBS News …

Record profits. This week, Exxon reported record profits of $55.7 billion in 2022, more than double its profits in 2021. Shell and Chevron also reported record profits of about $40 billion and $36.5 billion, respectively; both doubled last year’s profits.

‘Cities + Solutions.’ Grist’s special series highlights stories of climate action in six US communities: an Indigenous-led climate plan on Flathead Reservation, battling drought in Healdsburg, Calif., budgeting for climate in Pittsburgh, Pa., decarbonizing neighborhoods in Ann Arbor, Mich., cooling strategies in Phoenix, Ariz., and better bike sharing in New Orleans, La. See the series at Grist…

Cheaper power. Ninety-nine percent of US coal plants are more expensive to run compared to replacing them with new solar or wind power, according to a new study. “There’s a huge opportunity here to invest in coal communities, build local economic resilience and save money in the process,” said Michelle Solomon, a policy analyst at Energy Innovation, which conducted the study. By Oliver Milman at the Guardian…

Book of the Week

Reading books can deepen your climate coverage and identify authors to interview.

Heart to Heart 

The Dalai Lama has long been an advocate of mindful appreciation of the natural world and active involvement in protecting it. In a new book, a combination of the Dalai Lama’s message with charming illustrations by Patrick McDonnell, prescribes taking action as an antidote to climate anxiety or despair. “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday, and the other is called Tomorrow.”

Events & Resources

Intensive agriculture. The Arena for Journalism in Europe will hold an event to discuss new research on how intensive agricultural practices impact water quality in the European Union. February 8. RSVP.

Top stories. The Society for Environmental Journalists recently released a new guide on energy and environment stories to cover in 2023. Next week, SEJ will hold a webinar on how to cover these stories in the year ahead. February 9. RSVP.

Greenwashing. Clean Energy Wire is holding a webinar for journalists on how to differentiate between legitimate climate efforts and greenwashing of business practices. February 15. RSVP.

Disinformation. DeSmog has launched the Climate Disinformation Database for research on people and organizations that “have helped to delay and distract the public and our elected leaders” from taking needed effective climate action. Check it out.

Jobs, Etc.

Jobs. KGO-TV/ABC7 is recruiting a meteorologist/climate reporter in San Francisco. WHRO Public Media in Norfolk, Va., has an opening for a climate beat reporter. NPR is looking for a climate and health reporter.

Fellowships. The Society of Environmental Journalists is offering diversity fellowships to attend the organization’s annual conference in Boise, Idaho, from April 19-23. Apply by February 6. Learn more. 

The Uproot Project Environmental Justice Fellowship will give up to $2,000 to seven journalists of color to pursue reporting projects related to environmental justice. Apply by March 1. Learn more. 

The Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism is offering nine-month fellowships to journalists interested in deepening and broadening their knowledge of environmental issues. Apply by March 1. Learn more.