Environmental Watchdog Journalism Vol.3: Structural Change due to Climate protection, Cottbus/ Germany 2018

Call for Participation in a Environmental Watchdog Journalism workshop for participants from post-socialist European countries and Germany

Editorial Workshop in Cottbus from the 9th –13th  January 2018

We invite aspiring and active journalists to take part in a hands-on workshop for feature story writing and reporting on environmental issues. The workshop will offer an opportunity for participants to:

• excel working methods of public interest journalism;
• obtain in-depth knowledge from experts about the environmental and social aspects of coal mining; and
• work practically in a collaborative and interactive manner within an international reporting team.

At the end of the workshop each participant will have written/produced an individual article/report for publishing in the BlueLink Stories regional e-magazine for public interest journalism. Successful participants will then have the opportunity to continue contributing stories on freelancer basis, from their own countries, as part of BlueLink’s virtual newsroom project.
The workshop takes place in Cottbus, in Germany’s Lausitz area, which has been a centre of brown coal mining in open pit mining technique. The region is now affected by decrease of coal production due to the priority of climate protection. A completely new landscape is about to be created in not only geographical terms. The technological, social and environmental dynamics offers rich base for creative journalistic work, which we shall use for our workshop.

This activity is realised by the BlueLink Foundation and Heinrich Boell Foundation - Brandenburg as part of a BlueLink Virtual Newsroom project, supported by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) and Heinrich Boell Foundation - Brandenburg.

The event will be held in English.

Programme outline:
On day 1 the workshop will begin with setting up editorial work and establishing journalistic working methods to be applied, including: research, investigation, data collection, establishing credibility, handling sources, and story building. On day 2 knowledge gathering will begin by exchanges with experts on structural change related to offsetting coal power generation. Participants will chose between genres, such as interview, news, report, commentary, focusing on feature story telling skills. On day 3 we embark on a reporting trip to explore the site and make interviews. By day 4 we shall analyse information gathered, elaborate leads and story-lines, and participants will draft their pieces to complete the workshop. Furthermore lectures about relevant topics will be arranged. The last day is intended for writing and reviewing the articles for the website.


Arrival: 9th January 2018 Start of Program and welcome to the participants: 1 p.m.
Departure: 13th January 2018 End of Workshop and farewell: 3 p.m.

We ask for immediate registration!

The number of participants is limited, so early applications are encouraged. Applications will accepted until Sunday, December 17, 2017 but will be reviewed on ongoing basis. Acceptance confirmations will be mailed out latest by December 20, 2017.

There is no participation fee. For participants from Eastern-Central-Europe the traveling costs will be covered but need to be payed in advance and will be refunded. In case that is not possible please mention this in your registration. Board and lodging will be free. The number of participants is limited.

Journalists (both aspiring and experienced) from Europe’s post-socialist countries and Germany who are willing to work independently in public interest, covering climate change, clean energy as well as other issues related to environmental justice and democracy, are welcome to apply for participation.


Any questions regarding participation in the project and the workshop may be addressed to

Mr. Pavel Antonov, Executive Editor, and BlueLink’s team at office bluelink.net
Bettina Hermann, Workshop co-ordinator, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Brandenburg e.V., Tel.: 0331 2005780