CCNow Journalism Awards Finalists and ‘Climate & Democracy’ Coverage

For Earth Day, check out the shortlist of our 2022 award winners and stories on the democracy-climate connection

A cyclist on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan celebrates Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

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It’s been a packed Earth Week. First off, we’re thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2022 Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards! This year CCNow received more than 900 award submissions from 65 countries for 18 categories, including long and short-form print and video coverage, audio, photography, commentary, multimedia, and newsroom innovation.

“This outpouring of submissions — a 50% increase over last year’s entries — reflects how news organizations increasingly recognize that climate change demands more and better coverage from all journalists,” said Kyle Pope, the editor and publisher of Columbia Journalism Review and the chair of the CCNow Awards judging process.

Take a moment to look through the list of finalists. We hope you’ll find inspiration in the wide-ranging coverage and share your colleagues’ stories. Winners will be announced over the summer. Congratulations to all finalists!

To further mark Earth Day, a handful of CCNow partners, including Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation, the Guardian, ABC News, Al Jazeera English, The Times of India, and more, have come together to produce a surge of coverage exploring the nexus of climate and democracy. Many of the stories are republishable, but we hope they will also inspire journalists everywhere to undertake their own coverage of the intersection of climate and democracy.

The ‘Climate & Democracy’ project includes a newsmaker interview with US representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland, who spoke to Reuters, the Guardian, and Climate One public radio about the twin crises. “This is the real challenge and the imperative of our times, is to confront climate change — and it should be able to unify the people of the world,” Raskin said, “but we need democracy. And the authoritarians and the tiny special interests that are thriving off of the carbon economy are dead set opposed to the democratic movements.” Audio and video of the Raskin interview is available for all CCNow partners to publish or edit for their own use. CCNow partners are also welcome to publish pieces on the interview by Reuters or the Guardian, with the following tagline: This story originated in [OUTLET NAME] and is part of ‘Climate & Democracy,’ a series from the global journalism collaboration Covering Climate Now.

Partners can also publish a new column by CCNow co-founders Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope offering a look back at how outspokenly the iconic TV anchorman Walter Cronkite and the “Big Three” US networks covered the first Earth Day, in 1970 — and what today’s journalists can learn about all journalism having a point of view.

We’ve been delighted to see a surge in reporting around Earth Day by our partners, including CBS News, which launched a multiplatform series called ‘Earth 365.’ At ABC News, correspondent Ginger Zee is taking ‘Good Morning America’ viewers on a road trip across the US in an electric car. Don’t miss a series of reports from Puerto Rico that NBC’s Al Roker will air on Friday’s ‘TODAY’ show. Finally, check out PBS FRONTLINE’s three-part series “The Power of Big Oil,” which examines the fossil fuel industry’s history of deceit and delay around climate change.

Partners, please flag your Earth Day coverage in CCNow’s partner Slack or tag us on Twitter @coveringclimate. We’re proud to be working alongside you and eager to see what you and your teams report next on the intersection of climate and democracy.

Noteworthy stories

Reversing Trump. The Biden administration has reversed a Trump-era rollback of the National Environmental Policy Act. Henceforth, federal agencies will again be required to evaluate the climate impacts of infrastructure projects such as pipelines and power plants. By Chris D’Angelo at HuffPost…

Bad news. China, which accounted for the largest surge in carbon emissions last year, is building new coal mines and expanding existing ones to fuel its economic expansion. By Somini Sengupta at The New York Times…

… and more of it. The world’s 30 largest asset managers have invested over half a trillion dollars in oil, gas, and coal companies that have expansion plans and continue to provide “fresh cash to companies that are ignoring climate science,” according to a new report by the nonprofit Reclaim Finance. By Tim Quinson at Bloomberg Green…

Special interests. Al Jazeera hosted Rebecca Leber, Dr. Michael Mann, and Charlie Cray to discuss the twin crises of climate change and democracy. From CCNow’s ‘Climate & Democracy’ series, Al Jazeera’s program The Stream…

(Un)sustainability influencer. In an era of “green” influencers sharing best practices, tips, and products that purport to be sustainable, there’s actually lots of harm going on by way of corporate contracts, lack of transparency, and the fact that content based on consumption is inherently unsustainable. By Whitney Bauck for Grist…

Climate injustice. Meet 10 Black environmentalists working on climate and inequality in their communities.  “Communities of color … are impacted the most by environmental injustices and are also leading the way in creating solutions,” says Leah Thomas, founder of the platform Intersectional Environmentalist.  By Breanna Robinson at Ebony… 

Faith in people. Al Roker, the weathercaster for NBC News’s TODAY show, is optimistic about climate change because “people are smart. They realize we need action….. We need our governments, both from a town, a city, a state, and a federal level, to do things. And I think those things will get done.”  By Kyle Pope and Amanda Darrach at Columbia Journalism Review…

Republication Recommendations

The following stories deserve special consideration for republication by CCNow partners:

For partner outlets: To submit stories for sharing, please use this form. As always, instructions for republishing and the full list of stories available for republication can be found in our Sharing Library.

Odds & Ends

Events. Registration is open for the West Coast Climate Crisis Journalism Conference — a free hybrid event for journalists focused on solutions and journalism’s crucial role.

Grants. SEJ’s Fund for Environmental Journalism is accepting proposals for story grants on US public lands.

Fellowship. The JournalismAI Fellowship Programme brings together journalists and technologists from media organizations to explore innovative solutions to improve journalism using AI technologies. They are recruiting 20 fellows.

Jobs. Protocol is looking for a climate tech reporter. NPR is searching for a corporations and climate correspondent. CBS News is recruiting a national environment correspondent.

Welcome. We’re happy to announce that the following news organizations have joined Covering Climate Now: Energy News Network, Este País, Farmers Review, Irish Mirror, Ivory Coast Tribune, The Macao News, Techonomy and 360info.

If you have any feedback on this newsletter, or know of information that should be included here, shoot us a note at