In late 2011, the Climate Change Media Partnership (CCMP) sent journalists to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban (COP17) on a Fellowship program. The Fellowships were open predominantly to journalists from developing countries.
Quick links for COP17:
Formed in 2007 by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN), Panos London and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the CCMP brings developing country journalists to the annual UN climate summits, enabling them to cover the summit for their home media organizations, work with experienced and knowledgeable journalists from around the world, and gain a multifaceted understanding of climate change's global impact. Numerous regional organizations also play a supporting role in the partnership.
As part of the fellowship, the CCMP covered travel, lodging and daily subsistence expenses, arranged press accreditation at COP17, and provided other support services. The Fellows benefited from a series of specially designed activities, including an orientation session, breakfast briefings, a field trip and a media clinic.
The CCMP fully respected the editorial independence of all journalists. Throughout the conference, Fellows were free to report as they saw fit. We did require that Fellows attend the entire summit, provide copies or summaries of all the stories they filed during COP17 for posting on our websites, and that they show collegial attitude towards other Fellows. One of the main benefits of this program was the opportunity for Fellows to exchange views and information with their journalistic peers from around the world.
Traditionally, we had only welcomed journalists from developing countries, but due to the challenges of reporting on climate change in the US and Russia, and the availability of funding for Fellows from these countries, we opened the Fellowships to US and Russian journalists as well. Criteria for evaluating applicants included the prospective Fellow's demonstrated interest in climate change issues; their audience; and the ability of the Fellowship to provide an opportunity for those journalists who might not otherwise have a chance to cover such events.
Initial funding for this program was provided by private US foundations, including the Kendeda Fund and the Smart Family Foundation.