23 Nov 2023, 09:50
  • Milou
    Milou Dirkx is Journalism Network Manager at Clean Energy Wire. She is the first point of contact for the members of the CLEW Journalism Network, and develops events and other opportunities for climate and energy reporters to engage.

Jury members for CLEW cross-border grants give tips on how to enter a successful pitch

How can Europe leave no one behind, ensuring a just transition? This question has multiple answers, and while most reporting concentrates on jobs lost and gained, journalists can also focus on gender dimensions, transparency issues and international agreements. To better understand the scope of a 'just transition', CLEW invites journalists from around the world to collaborate across borders and submit pitches. Three winning teams will each receive 2,500 euros. To help choose these teams, we have invited a two-member jury: Irene Baños Ruiz, a Spanish multimedia journalist, and Marta Schulte-Fischedick, who works in the Green Deal Unit at the Energy Community Secretariat. In this blog post they share tips and tricks for journalists who want to apply.

The deadline for submission of pitches is 30 November 2023.

What will you look for in pitches, what advice would you give journalists when choosing a topic related to just transition?

Marta: “I like humorous and creative pitches with a link to the current political agenda, but also evidence from the real world, such as interview renditions of people from specific regions. I will be looking for pitches with a clear story which should make it clear that there is no ‘one and only’ just transition and that there are different realities for a wide range of actors and regions. Balancing the human narrative with a broader understanding of policy implications can create a well-rounded and impactful piece. Just transition knows no boundaries, and neither does this award. Explore that.”

Irene: “Make sure to focus on the human aspect and not on abstract figures and highlight the benefits that a just transition can offer to a community as opposed to the impacts of climate inaction. Show the multidimensional and often overlooked aspects of just transition. For example, the impacts that Europe’s measures have on other countries.”

"Just transition knows no boundaries, and neither does this award. Explore that.”

Marta Schulte-Fischedick

Any other advice for journalists who want to apply?

Irene: “Approach your stories constructively: Show the challenges but also make sure to include the existing answers to improve the situation.”

Marta:A recent perception study, jointly conducted by the World Bank and the Energy Community, has shown that most people do not know what just transition is. Keep it simple, emotional and pretty. To enhance the just transition’s chances of success people must understand what it is.

Emphasise the cross-border aspects of your story, expand the collaboration potential and explain how your pitch adds unique value to the conversation about leaving no one behind in Europe's green transition compared to the existing coverage.”

More information on our jury

Irene Baños Ruiz is a Spanish multimedia journalist specialised in climate communication. She is a regular contributor to the environment section of Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's international broadcaster, and develops DW Akademie's communication strategy on media and information literacy and environmental journalism in Latin America. She also works as a trainer, speaker and writer for various media outlets and institutions.

Marta Schulte-Fischedick works in the Green Deal Unit at the Energy Community Secretariat in Vienna. She is focusing on fostering just transition goals across energy and climate policies in the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. Among other things, she is responsible for activities within the Energy Community Centre for Alleviating Energy Poverty and the EU's Coal Regions in Transition Initiative for the Western Balkans and Ukraine, and is in charge of the implementation of commitments under the Declaration on Gender Equality.

Journalism for the energy transition

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