Winners of a worldwide competition will get cash prizes as well as coaching from News Decoder and publication on the News Decoder site.

The poster for the "Who is Saving the Planet" storytelling competition.

Announcing the Climate Champion Profiles storytelling competition

Teenage journalists worldwide are invited to profile someone who has had success in taking us closer to saving the planet in this storytelling competition organized by News Decoder and Global Youth & News Media.

Winners of the “Climate Champion Profiles” storytelling competition will get coaching and publication by News Decoder, a nonprofit global educational news service based in France, plus a cash prize. Deadline is 1 March 2023.

“Profile subjects should be people in communities across the globe who are making a difference in stopping climate change by launching or carrying out projects that make real progress towards removing carbon, lowering emissions or passing climate change legislation,” said Marcy Burstiner, educational news director at News Decoder. “This is called ‘moving the needle.'”

That’s also what jury member and veteran trainer Rina Tsubaki of the European Forest Institute hopes to see. She runs the Lookout Station program that helps journalists focus on solutions to climate and environmental crises.

“Many journalists end up reporting on ‘surface-level’ solutions that merely address the symptoms,” she says. “That’s why working with experts and scientists becomes crucial to detect the deep-rooted cause and avoid jumping too quickly to conclusions. Through this competition, I hope to see many applications that look into the issues closely, hopefully with some experts’ help in understanding the problems.”

Stories can be submitted in different media forms.

Profiles must be in English, produced individually or in teams of two, and can be text, video, podcast or multimedia. Full details about entering the competition can be found here:

The competition is part of The Writing’s on the Wall project in cooperation with The Climate Academy based at the European School Brussels II (Belgium) and is supported by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union and The New Earth Foundation (USA).

News Decoder is also creating a number of informational resources: short videos on finding climate stories, conducting interviews and creating podcasts; a series of climate “Decoders” which break down what is happening in the search for climate solutions; and climate-focused “Ecologues” – webinars held in partnership with the American Library of Paris—in which experts from around the world discuss key issues such as energy transition, food security and climate justice, guided by questions from young people.

The Climate Academy is providing a “Rough Guide to the Climate Crisis” by Matthew Pye, philosophy teacher and founder of the Climate Academy. He examines the science and impact of the climate crisis through psychology, philosophy and sociology in a series of compact, entertaining and informative videos and an accompanying textbook. A teachers’ guide will also be available.

In addition, the project will soon welcome other kinds of content from youth in its “Ground Control” youth media space.

Three questions to consider:

  1. What does it mean when someone is “moving the needle” on climate change?
  2. How can what one person does in their community benefit the wider world?
  3. Who could you find to profile in your community who is doing something to save the planet from climate change?
Alistair Lyon author news decoder-150x150

Aralynn Abare McMane, an adviser to News Decoder, specializes in how news media can better serve the young. She directs the French nonprofit Global Youth & News Media and is the author of "The New News for Kids," an international report originally commissioned by the American Press Institute (2017) that she hopes to update and expand later this year. She encourages donations to Ukraine's Voices of Children Foundation.

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ContestsStory competition challenges teens to profile people saving the planet