The Environmental Journalism Network
From NGOs to mass media newsrooms, journalists cover environmental issues at the local and global levels. Using tools like Shorthand, creating stunning web content is possible without IT expertise!
SEJ’s listserv for educators (available to SEJ members) is a great place to share ideas and resources. Visit the listserv here to join.
From climate change to biodiversity loss, the world is facing a host of environmental crises. These issues require sophisticated reporting and a deep understanding of how to approach them. They also require solutions-oriented journalism — news that shows people what is possible when they work together to address challenges.
Journalists working in this area have to be able to translate scientific jargon into understandable narrative for their audiences. They also often face dangerous situations, which makes it more difficult to report on the issue.
This makes the field of environmental journalism one that should appeal to journalists who are not afraid to step outside their comfort zone and take on big, complex stories. Examples include the journalists who are covering COP27, the UN’s main climate change conference, in Egypt. One of them is Helene Lea, a French-Tunisian investigative journalist who specializes in environmental and social stories and has notably conducted a cross-border investigation into a waste affair between Italy and Tunisia.
The network’s members are trained by experts to teach their colleagues how to report on environmental issues, including climate change. Using this knowledge, journalists can highlight government or corporate abuse of the natural world and the impact on people’s lives. They also use their work to promote environmental policies.
The Society of Environmental Journalists has been offering professional development opportunities to journalists since 2004. Its conferences, seminars, online courses and webinars help reporters to better cover the environment and its challenges. The organization also provides training in solutions journalism, which focuses on reporting about what is working to address climate change and other environmental problems.
The group’s trainers also encourage their trainees to create sections dedicated to environmental issues in their media organizations. This way, they can raise awareness about the importance of environmental issues and influence public opinion. They are also encouraged to expose governments or corporations that fail to meet their commitments to include Indigenous Peoples in decisions about the environment.
Whether tackling climate change, biodiversity loss or pollution from fossil fuels, environmental journalists are on the frontline of global issues. They report on natural disasters such as fires and floods, as well as the approval or improvement of environmental policies.
The Society of Environmental Journalists brings together a professional community at the global, regional and local levels through an annual conference, scores of regional forums, unique publications and training sessions. The network has 13,000+ members in 180+ countries.
As part of its mission to support environmental journalism in all its forms, SEJ offers a range of projects and supports its member journalists with grants, webinars and workshops. For example, the Solutions Journalism Network trains reporters to highlight and promote successful environmental actions. The diversity and equity committee advocates for greater coverage of issues that affect minority communities. And the Religion & Environment Story Project Fellowship supports journalists writing stories at the intersection of faith and ecology.
The network aims to create a global community of environmental journalists organized at the global, regional and local level. It offers a range of opportunities that empower journalists to report on the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. These include journalism workshops and webinars, media and story grants for reporters, as well as a range of fellowship opportunities including training in the use of Open Government Tools.
The funding programme aims to support Indigenous journalist networks, newsrooms and individual journalists in covering transnational conservation crimes in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. EJN welcomes applications from groups of journalists who self-identify as Indigenous, with the lead applicant responsible for communicating with EJN and receiving funds on behalf of the group if awarded a grant. The project should also include plans to develop an online platform to share and distribute investigative stories on this issue. The deadline for this opportunity is June 20, 2023.