CLOSED: Go collaborate! Grant for energy & climate journalism

We are inviting: Journalists - Global
Summer - Autumn 2017
Bonn, Germany
Import into your calendar

PLEASE NOTE: Winners will be notified by 09 October, and all other applicants shortly thereafter. A cross-border perspective is key to reporting on the global energy transition. Clean Energy Wire CLEW is offering three grants for the most promising international collaborative projects from at least two different countries on the topics of clean energy, climate policy and the shift to a low-carbon economy.

Clean Energy Wire CLEW call for applications

The energy transition has become one of the defining global stories of our time. Its implications and innovations cross traditional boundaries between nations, business sectors and journalistic beats. We at the foundation-funded non-profit Clean Energy Wire CLEW are committed to supporting journalists covering the epochal shift towards a low-emissions economy that is crucial to meet the pledge 195 countries signed up to with the Paris Agreement. We believe a cross-border perspective is key to reporting on this global transition. Many major energy and climate policy stories cannot be properly explored in a purely national context and demand an audience beyond a single domestic readership.

This is why Clean Energy Wire CLEW is offering three grants for the most promising international collaborative reporting projects. We will support collaborative media teams from at least two different countries, on stories with international significance.

The application deadline is 15 September 2017.


Application criteria

  • Teams of at least two journalists working across different media outlets in different countries will be eligible.
  • Adherence to internationally applicable professional journalistic standards is a must. By submitting your application, you agree to follow the code of professional conduct for journalists developed by the International Federation of Journalists. You are also welcome to consult the principles of quality journalism and transparency that the Clean Energy Wire additionally subscribes to.
  • The backing of an editor, or editors, stating concrete interest in publishing your story is an advantage.
  • Focus: Topics that explore the transition to clean energy, climate policy and the shift to a low-carbon economy will be considered.
  • Cross-border: The story must take a genuinely cross-border approach, i.e. involving actors or activities in more than one country. In addition, it must be aimed at publication by different media outlets in two or more countries by April 30, 2018. Your application must demonstrate how a cross-border perspective adds value to your story.
  • Type of story: All types of story are encouraged, including features, investigative journalism and comparative reporting. This grant is targeted primarily at print and online journalism but projects in other media/taking a multimedia approach will also be considered.
  • Language: The story may be published in any language/s. Applications for the grant must be submitted in English.


What Clean Energy Wire CLEW offers

Clean Energy Wire CLEW will support successful applicants’ stories with a grant of between EUR 4,000 and 6,000. The three successful journalist teams will be invited to the 2017 Clean Energy Wire CLEW Network Conference, which will take place in Bonn, Germany, 10-11 November 2017. Two team members (appointed from within the team) will present the project pitch and an audience vote will decide which will receive the award of EUR 6,000, EUR 5,000 or EUR 4,000.


The application process

  • In your application, we ask you to include a rough budget for your project, and to specify any additional sources of funding for the project (e.g. your employer or other grants if applicable).
  • Once you have submitted your application, Clean Energy Wire CLEW will put forward all project proposals that meet the submission criteria to the three-member jury. The judges will independently select the three successful projects.
  • The successful projects will be notified during the first week of October, and invited to the 2017 Clean Energy Wire CLEW Network Conference. Our conference will take place in parallel to the COP23 in Bonn, and bring together journalists and media organisations working on energy transition topics and cross-border journalism. All costs of participation for the members of the successful teams will be fully funded by us.
  • Following the conference, 50 percent of each grant will be awarded up front, and the remaining 50 percent on publication of the story.


The jury

Clean Energy Wire is honoured to have the support of three highly distinguished judges who will help us award the most promising energy transition cross-border stories. All three jury members hold long-standing expertise in journalism, media studies and communication in connection to climate change and the energy transition.


London-based international journalist and broadcaster Isabel Hilton is founder and editor-in-chief of the independent, non-profit news website The bilingual online publication on the environment and climate change aims to promote a wider understanding of China’s urgent challenges in this respect. Initiated and run by the China Dialogue Trust, Hilton furthermore oversees the online publications and media services, and Hilton has authored several books, as well as worked for a number of renowned news outlets, including the Sunday Times, the Independent, the Guardian, the New Yorker and the BBC. She is also currently a Visiting Professor at the Lau Institute, Kings College London.


Energy communication expert and journalist Hanne May is Head of Energy Consulting at communication agency Edelman.ergo. She is specialised in communication concepts and strategic consulting in the energy sector and has advised national and international public institutions as well as private companies and associations on topics such as the German energy transition and European energy and climate policy. Before joining Edelman.ergo, May was Deputy Managing Director of the German Wind Energy Association and, for ten years, served as editor-in-chief of the renewable energy magazines, ‘new energy’ and ‘Neue Energie’. Since 2013, May has been on the selection committee of the New Energy Pioneers award (Bloomberg New Energy Finance) and was also involved in selecting the award winners of the Renewable Energies Agency’s Media Award.


Science journalist and biologist Dr. Wiebke Rögener-Schwarz is academic assistant at the Department of Journalism at TU Dortmund University and editor-in-chief of the university’s Medien-Doktor Umwelt (Media-Doctor Environment). The online publication reviews and evaluates the quality of journalistic environmental coverage across all public media outlets. She is the author numerous scientific as well as journalistic articles with a focus on research policy, environment, health and natural sciences and has also contributed to several books. Rögener-Schwarz was published in reputable outlets such as Süddeutsche Zeitung and Financial Times Germany. Prior to her career in freelance journalism, Rögener-Schwarz worked more than ten years in immunology and neurobiology research. In 2009, she was awarded the Journalist Prize of the German Network for Evidence-Based Medicine.

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