Journalists Wanted: Environmental Watchdog Journalism and Storytelling on Climate Change and Clean Energy

Call for participаtion in the BlueLink Virtual Newsroom Project across Central and Eastern Europe and Germany

The Heinrich Boell Foundation in Brandenburg and BlueLink are reaching out to journalists from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Germany, willing to join a virtual newsroom project for watchdog journalism and storytelling on climate change and clean energy. Prospective participants will be invited to editorial workshops to exchange experiences and improve knowledge and skills before they are commissioned to investigate and produce multimedia feature stories from their countries. Successful stories are be published by a regional online magazine, launched by BlueLink in English language. These activities are part of the project entitled BlueLink Virtual Newsroom: Strengthening post-socialist environmental watchdog journalism and regional story exchange on climate change and clean energy in CEE and Germany, funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) and Heinrich Boell Foundation in Brandenburg.

Purpose and method of editorial workshops: The core purpose of each editorial workshop is to lay firm ground for journalistic practice. Participants  investigate collaboratively a local or global environmental story, hear from experts, fellow-journalists and activists, and master advanced professional techniques of ethical journalism in public interest. iExperts on climate change, clean energy and related environmental issues would be present to share relevant information and knowledge with the workshop’s participants on particular topics covered.Techniques, skills and culture of ethical journalism will be transferred to and among participants, facilitated by experienced journalists from the CEE region, Germany, and the UK. New original articles, photography, reports and other pieces of editorial contents will be produced during the workshop, and participants will be encouraged to get them finished and published in their home country languages. Selected stories from each workshop  produced in English are to be published by the virtual newsroom publication.  Experienced journalists from the environmental sections of The Guardian, BBC, the Financial Times, Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung, and Süddeutsche Zeitung will facilitate the editorial workshops. Pavel Antonov, PhD, experienced environmental journalist and executive editor at BlueLink, will lead the workshops and the editorial work inbetween them.

Journalism in practice

Participating journalists will collaborate professionally in a virtual working space created by BlueLink – the Virtual Newsroom. They will offered editorial guidance and support, and will be asked to propose story ideas, which, if approved, will be structured into editorial assignments as part of a joint creative process involving authors and a supervising editor. Participants will then need to implement each assignment withiin a set deadline and up to set of high professional standards set within the newsroom and defined at the editorial workshops. Completed articles will be published in an internet-based clearing-house for journalism in public interest, powered by the virtual newsroom. Participants will be encouraged to publish stories in national media and languages. Selected participants will be invited to join round-table discussions and public events, held by the project, analyzing on the pressing political, technological, economic and social issues that determine the accomplishing of the project’s objectives, and defining professional responses to them.

Who can participate:  Journalists (both aspiring and experienced) from Europe’s post-socialist countries and Germany who are willing to work independently in public interest, covering climate change, clean energy as well as other issues related to environmental justice and democracy, are welcome to apply for participation. The organisers will look to guarantee equal possibility for participants from disadvantaged groups and minorities. Diversity of geographical representation of participants across the CEE region and Germany will be sought. Selected participants should be well-motivated to learn and apply new knowledge into their work at home, as well as to be prepared to produce journalistic articles under editorial supervision within the virtual newsroom launched by the project. Participants should be able to work and write in English during the workshop and follow-up activities, but will be encouraged to publish stories in their home languages and home media if they work for any.

Payment add financial support: Participation in the project is entirely free of charge. The project impementing partners hold the view that professional ethical journaism in public interest is under threat and needs to be protected and cultivated. That is why participating journalists will be offered fees/honoraria to develop and write up regionally relevant stories from their countries. Feels will be paid subject to successful completion of an editorial assignment, in line with the professional and ethical quality requirements set withint he virtual newstoom. Fees will vary on the nature and complexity of each editorial assignment and will be paid upon publication. Travel costs of selected participants to the editorial workshop venues, as well as reporting trip costs are covered, subject to approval by the editorial team of the project. Participants will not be paid to participate in workshops, editorial discussions or project events.

Apply now! Applicants should complete a simple application/registration form online at and submit links demonstrating their background and motivation. Participants will be selected based on the merit of their applications. Applicants from disadvantaged groups and minorities will be given priority consideration.

Deadline for registration: Applications for participation in the BlueLink Newsroom will be accepted throughout the project’s duration, until March 2018. Registration is now closed for the frst workshop on 30.11 - 03.12.2016. New applications will be evaluated on ongoing basis and assigned to following workshop dates in 2017, so interested participants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Contacts and questions
Any questions regarding participation in the project and the workshop may be addressed to Mr. Pavel Antonov, Executive Editor, and BlueLink’s team at office <at> bluelink <dot> net.