Reporting Climate Change

Course Type: In-Company | Course Category: Journalism

Course Introduction

Preparing powerful, accurate stories on possibly the greatest threat to humanity

What's it about?

Climate Change is widely seen as the greatest threat to human development – perhaps even to human survival – in modern times. As the issue has moved gradually from the fringes of the news agenda to centre-stage, many journalists have difficulty grasping the implications, disentangling the mass of competing and contradictory claims, and distinguishing fact from fiction. In this workshop, journalists will learn how to prepare powerful but accurate reports, to inform their audiences without sensationalism or alarmism, and to bring home the likely impact of climate change to their lives of each and every person.

Who should attend?

Journalists and editors with two to five years’ experience.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the essentials of climate science and international climate negotiations
  • Understand climate change issues in their country and how they fit into the global picture
  • Decipher climate acronyms and complex climate concepts
  • Explain climate change in simple terms and its impact on the lives of ordinary people
  • Explain the political and economic conflicts it brings
  • Balance and explain contrasting scientific forecasts
  • Handle fairly the views of climate change sceptics
  • Grasp the scale of what is forecast to happen over coming decades
  • Report and assemble a climate change story based on basic writing principles
  • Best practice news reporting and writing skills
  • Build exclusive stories from scientific reports
  • Understand potential pitfalls in covering climate change


Participants will benefit from a deeper understanding of issues surrounding climate change and its impact on their country as well as on the wider region and the world.

Course Structure Highlights

  • Understanding climate science
  • Making sense of the UN climate negotiations
  • What makes a climate change story?
  • The key climate issues in your country
  • Scary acronyms and climate coverage pitfalls
  • Writing effective news leads
  • Interviewing skills, use of “interview funnel”
  • Structuring a story – simple stories
  • Building an exclusive story from releases
  • Importance of context, explaining terms, injecting background, importance of not assuming reader knowledge
  • Writing good headlines
  • Participants will be asked to conceive a climate change story and make the case for it to an editor

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