BBC launches UK-wide talent search for young climate reporters
The BBC is offering 18-24 year-olds a unique training and mentorship opportunity, as it aims to put young voices at the heart of its climate reporting
We’re setting a really tough challenge. Finding new ways to interest audiences in climate change isn’t easy, but it is only by communicating the importance of the issue that we can get people motivated to tackle it. I can’t wait to see what young people come up with!"
The BBC is looking for talented young storytellers from across the UK, who are interested in working in the media, to apply for an exciting new training opportunity as part of the popular Young Reporter programme.
Successful applicants from across the UK will secure a place on a series of workshops, with expert coaching from BBC staff on storytelling and practical steps on pursuing a career in journalism.
The ambition is to select 22 young people and pair them with a BBC staff mentor, who will be on hand to provide support and guidance with the production of original stories about sustainability and climate change. The reports will form part of the BBC’s Our Planet Now coverage of The UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26), which takes place in Glasgow in November 2021.
Entrants must be aged 18 to 24 and will be asked to submit a story about climate change that they want to report on, which is relevant to them or the area they live in. They will also be required to provide a short video or audio clip demonstrating their storytelling and broadcasting skills.
The opportunity is part of the BBC’s commitment to developing and nurturing diverse new talent from across the UK. In partnership with BBC Scotland, the project will select five young people from the COP26 host nation, with the aim for at least one of them to be a Gaelic speaker. Young people will also be selected to represent all areas of England, as well as Wales and Northern Ireland.
Reports will feature across the BBC’s regional, national and UK-wide news programmes and services, alongside a range of special BBC programming for COP26 and the BBC’s Our Planet Now coverage.
This unique talent search is part of the Young Reporter programme and is specifically designed to support the media career aspirations of 18-24 year-olds. BBC Young Reporter will return to run a story search for 11-18 year olds in early 2022.
Rhodri Talfan Davies, the BBC’s Director Nations, says: “This new training initiative from Young Reporter is all about giving talented young storytellers from across the UK access to the media industry, and the opportunity to learn from established BBC journalists.”
Justin Rowlatt, BBC’s Senior Environment Correspondent, says: “We’re setting a really tough challenge. Finding new ways to interest audiences in climate change isn’t easy, but it is only by communicating the importance of the issue that we can get people motivated to tackle it. I can’t wait to see what young people come up with and seeing, hearing and reading their work across the BBC!”
Liz Bonnin, science and natural history broadcaster and host of BBC 5 Live’s What Planet Are We On podcast, says: “One of the most powerful ways to create the change our planet needs is to share stories that encourage meaningful conversations and actions, and with COP26 just around the corner I'm really thrilled that young people, who are inheriting the environmental crises we adults have caused, are getting an opportunity to shape how those stories are told."
BBC Young Reporter - Climate Stories is now open for applications and closes on Sunday, 5 September.
How to enter
- The talent search is now open for applications and the closing date is Sunday 5 September, with shortlisting taking place between 6 - 24 September 2021
- To enter, go to bbc.co.uk/youngreporterclimate - where all the terms and conditions and privacy notice can be found
- The winners of the BBC Young Reporter - Climate Stories opportunity will be announced at the end of September 2021
Notes to Editors
BBC Young Reporter engages with thousands of 11-18 year olds across the UK every year, in partnership with schools, colleges and youth organisations. The pan-BBC initiative works with young people in three ways - supporting them to tell their stories on BBC programmes and platforms, giving them media and content creation skills and information about how to spot fake and false information, and with the help of BBC staff ambassadors giving them advice and inspiration about careers in the media.
To keep up to date with BBC Young Reporter, follow the team on Twitter @BBCYoungReport or head to the BBC Young Reporter YouTube channel
Our Planet Now is the BBC’s wider ongoing commitment to programming which explores the environment and the challenges facing the natural world. Further information can be found on the BBC’s dedicated Our Planet Now website and there are also Our Planet Now collections on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds.