CNN Academy / The Rockefeller Foundation Climate Storytelling Programme 2023

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CNN Academy with funding from the The Rockefeller Foundation invites applications for the Climate Storytelling Programme 2023.

Closing date: 15 November 2023

CNN Academy, in collaboration with The Rockefeller Foundation, is taking a significant step by empowering 15 young journalists from developing nations.

Together, they are launching an innovative program aimed at amplifying their voices and highlighting stories that demand our attention. This is a fully funded opportunity.


The purpose of this initiative is to empower journalists, content creators, and communicators with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively report on climate-related issues affecting their regions.

This project is part of The Rockefeller Foundation and CNN Academy’s commitment to amplifying diverse voices and promoting accurate and impactful climate reporting.

The Rockefeller Foundation provided $200k in funding for this program. The money, which can only be used by CNN Academy for this program, will fund expenses related to the development and delivery of the program, associated staffing costs and funding travel and accommodation costs for the 15 selected participants.  

Key Dates

November 27th to Friday, December 2nd:
In-person CNN Academy training in Abu Dhabi

Week of December 3rd to December 9th:
CNN Academy Climate Storytelling Simulation in Abu Dhabi 


The selected climate storytellers will attend a comprehensive media training program delivered by CNN Academy that covers various aspects of climate change reporting, including:

  • Understanding climate science and its impact on local communities.
  • Techniques for investigative journalism and data-driven reporting in the context of climate change.
  • Strategies for communicating complex scientific information to diverse audiences.

  • Ethical considerations in climate reporting, including community engagement and representation.
  • Multimedia storytelling approaches, including visual storytelling, video production, and social media engagement.

  • Best practices for fact-checking, verifying sources and countering misinformation.
  • Support and mentorship to produce a news story about climate change in a local context, which will be publicized by CNN and The Rockefeller Foundation.  


To be eligible for this media training opportunity, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Reside and work in a country located in the Global South which includes any developing country in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
  • Identify as a content creator, journalist, or storyteller in the early stages of their career.

  • Have a demonstrable interest in and passion for climate change storytelling, with a portfolio of relevant work, if applicable.
  • Possess strong communication skills and fluency in spoken and written English.

  • Demonstrate a commitment to actively participating in the entire training program and applying the acquired skills to their reporting projects.
  • Be able and willing to travel to Abu Dhabi for the CNN Academy Climate Storytelling Simulation from December 3rd to December 10th*

*CNN Academy will cover costs associated with this trip.


Interested candidates are invited to apply via our interactive videoform, or through a traditional form, containing the following information:

A brief overview of their background, experience, and  motivation for participating in  the training program.

A statement on how the training would benefit their professional growth and contribute to improved climate reporting in their region.

Contact information, including email address and phone number. If applicable, a portfolio of previous reporting work, including links to published  articles, videos, or other relevant content.

Confirmation of availability to attend the full training program on the specified dates.


Proposals will be evaluated based on the applicant’s experience, demonstrable commitment to climate reporting, and the potential impact of participation in the program on their work.

A panel of climate communication experts will review the submissions and select 15 candidates who best align with the objectives of the initiative. 


Selected participants will receive full sponsorship to attend the media training program, which includes travel expenses (if applicable), accommodation, training materials, and meals during the program.

Upon completion of the training, participants will also receive a CNN Academy Certificate of Completion. 

The final documentaries produced by the participants will be showcased on CNN or a CNN Academy platform. 


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