2024 CCNow Awards Are Now Open

Submit your climate reporting for the 2024 Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards

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We’re proud to announce that the 2024 Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards are now open for submissions. Now in its fourth year, the CCNow Awards program honors excellent reporting by journalists from all over the world who are working hard to tell the defining story of our time. And not a moment too soon.

2023 was by far the hottest year ever recorded with devastating climate impacts around the world. And temperatures and extreme weather will only get worse until governments around the world make good on their agreement at last December’s COP28 climate summit to “transition away” from fossil fuels.

To elevate these and other important aspects of the climate story, we’ve taken the CCNow awards categories in a significantly new direction this year. The majority of our categories this time around are subject based — for example: extreme weather, politics, and health. We plan to honor multiple winners in each category, reflecting a range of styles, story lengths, outlet sizes, and geographic regions. In addition to 14 subject-based categories, our awards this year will honor several emerging journalists, as well as work in a new “Large projects & collaborations” category.

Last year, we received nearly 1,100 entries, from 29 countries on six continents. Winners included Manka Behl of the Times of India, Damian Carrington of the Guardian, and Amy Westervelt of Drilled as “Journalists of the Year.” Also honored were

Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk and Harvest Public Media for a special series analyzing and humanizing 50 years of rainfall data; Scroll.in for a sprawling investigation revealing that many plantations participating in an Indian government afforestation program don’t actually exist; Naomi Klein for her powerful commentary connecting global political turmoil with climate change; and many more.

So collect the climate work you’re most proud of from 2023 and submit your entry — and please spread the word to others in your newsrooms and professional networks. For more on our awards, including a full list of categories and how to enter, check out CCNow’s website.

Journalists everywhere are invited to enter work published or broadcast anytime in 2023. As always, there’s no fee to enter. Entries will be accepted through March 1, 2024, at 11:59pm US Eastern Time. We’re looking forward to seeing your submissions, and keep up the great work!

From Us

“The Climate Story in 2024.” CCNow held a press briefing on the biggest climate stories to watch this year. Mustafa Santiago Ali of National Wildlife Federation, journalist and activist Bill McKibben, and Amy Westervelt of Critical Frequency spoke about this year’s elections, fossil fuel phaseout, and proliferating disinformation. Listen to a recording and view the transcript of “The Climate Story in 2024.” (We experienced a technical error with the video recording, so the recording is audio-only.)

Climate on the Ballot. This Monday, CCNow is launching a new newsletter, Climate on the Ballot. For the next 40 weeks, our goal is to help journalists reporting on the US elections — local, state, and national — make the climate crisis an integral part of your coverage. Sign up here.

Noteworthy Stories

Clean energy boom. Global spending on clean energy, including renewable energy and electric vehicles, grew by 17% to nearly $1.8 trillion in 2023, a new record, with China leading the way, according to a new BloombergNEF report. By Dan Gearino at Inside Climate News…

Early warning. Documents uncovered by the Climate Investigations Center reveal that the fossil fuel industry was aware of climate risks from burning oil and gas as early as the 1950s. In a 1954 research proposal, a California Institute of Technology researcher warned the industry-backed Air Pollution Foundation that increased carbon dioxide levels “may ultimately prove of considerable significance to civilization.” By Rebecca John at DeSmog…

US climate beliefs. More Americans agree that climate change is happening compared to a decade ago, but just 58% believe that it’s human caused, according to new research by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication study. “The science is completely conclusive that this is not natural, yet it’s clear that so many Americans are still confused about that,” said study lead Jennifer Marlon. By Denise Chow and Chase Cain at NBC News…

Water adaptation. Catalonia, a Spanish region struggling with severe drought conditions exacerbated by climate change, plans to become independent of rain by 2030 through a $2.6 billion investment in desalination plants and water infrastructure. By decade’s end, “we’ll have enough water to face structural drought and stop depending on rain,” said David Mascort, the Catalan government’s head of climate action. By Laura Millan at Bloomberg…

LNG reaction. Frontline communities in southwest Louisiana are “not going to take a victory lap here because there’s so much more to do,” said James Hiatt, founder of For a Better Bayou, an environmental justice organization, following the Biden administration’s recent pause on issuing permits for new liquefied natural gas export facilities. Louisiana’s Cameron Parish has three of the US’s operational LNG export terminals and one under construction, which residents say are leading to health problems and poverty. By Jeva Lange at Heatmap News…

Resources, Events, and Reports

Compelling climate stories. Yale Climate Communications annotates a short article to showcase climate storytelling best practices, such as including diverse personal stories.

Public trust. The dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Jelani Cobb, talks to Late Show host Steven Colbert about how journalists can earn the public’s trust. “Most people don’t know how news gets produced,” Cobb said, also referencing ethical standards and the fact-checking process. “We need to do a better job of explaining that.”

Enhanced bylines. To better serve audiences, The New York Times, The Verge, Vox, and others are using “enhanced bylines” that provide more information about how a story was reported and the writer’s credentials, according to Nieman Lab.

Reporting science 101. SciLine is running a one-hour offering crash course on “science essentials for local reporters.” February 6. RSVP. 

Corporate leaders. As You Sow and Corporate Knights are holding a webinar on their new list of “200 global companies that define the clean energy future.” February 15. RSVP.

Indigenous journalists. The Indigenous Journalists Association and the Commonwealth Fund will co-host “How Indigenous journalists can utilize data from the Health Equity Scorecard.” February 15. RSVP.

New reports. Two new reports examine how the fossil fuel industry has harmed communities in Texas and Louisiana: Amnesty International’s “The Cost of Doing Business? The Petrochemical Industry’s Toxic Pollution in the USA” and Human Rights Watch’s “‘We’re Dying Here’: The Fight for Life in a Louisiana Fossil Fuel Sacrifice Zone.”

A new report from the Pacific Institute and DigDeep, “Water, Sanitation, and Climate Change in the United States,” examines how “six key climate phenomena — extreme temperatures, drought, inland flooding, sea level rise, extreme storms, and wildfires — are each affecting water resources and water and sanitation systems.”

Local Story Ideas

Stories on our radar that local journalists can consider for their own audiences:

  • Explain how winter may be changing in your area in a warming world, as CBS Television affiliate WRGB does here. (Climate Central has background and camera-ready graphics here and here.)
  • Create a guide to help people prepare for extreme weather events, as The Texas Tribune recently did.   
  • Report on whether or not climate change is being integrated in public school curriculum. See this story from The New York Times. (The National Center for Science Education tracks climate change education by state.)

Via Social 

Vermont Public is adopting a “citizens agenda” model of campaign coverage “focused on the stakes of the election,” which New York University associate professor of journalism Jay Rosen tweeted out in a thread.

Jobs, Etc. 

Jobs. Inside Climate News is hiring a newsletter writer. Maine Public is recruiting a climate reporter. The Miami Herald is looking for a climate reporter. Politico’s E&E News is hiring an energy technology reporter. The Revelator is recruiting an associate editor.

Newsroom layoffs. The Institute for Independent Journalists Foundation wants to hear from journalists to better understand how layoffs impacted the US media industry and individual journalists in the past year.

Fellowships. The National Science-Health-Environment Reporting Fellowships for early career US-based journalists are open for applications. Apply by February 23. The Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT is accepting applications for its Advancing Science Journalism fellowship for journalists in Africa and the Middle East. Apply by March 1. The Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder is accepting applications for its Ted Scripps Fellowship program. Apply by March 1.

Grants. Photographers Without Borders has grants available to “support revolutionary storytellers.” Apply by March 7. 

Awards. The International Center for Journalists seeks nominations for the 2024 ICFJ Knight International Journalism Awards by February 8. The National Press Foundation is accepting applications from US-based journalists for the Thomas L. Stokes Award for reporting excellence in energy and the environment. Apply by March 8.