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citizen climate journalism

stories from the front lines of climate impact

What is citizen climate journalism?

Citizen climate journalism is a grassroots approach to reporting news. Citizens share their stories about how climate change is impacting their lives, and these stories are circulated through alternative media outlets. It is climate reporting by the people and for the people. In words of journalism Professor Jay Rosen, "Citizen journalists are the people formerly known as the audience." 

Why do we need citizen climate journalism?

When truth-telling becomes an act of rebellion, that is when it is most needed. World leaders are denying the reality of climate change, leading to confusion and stalling solutions. Citizen climate journalism challenges this mis-information with truth: stories of climate change from the front lines of impact. 

Citizen climate journalism also helps climate scientists. Climate data has only recently been recorded for some areas of impact. Because of this, it is hard to measure change. Oral histories of changes in the climate reported by citizens can help scientists bridge that gap. 

The SS4S citizen climate journalism program:

the story lab

We render our citizen climate journalism initiative actionable through The Story Lab, our citizen climate journalism program.  The Story Lab is an interdisciplinary approach to citizen climate journalism that combines local experience, scientific expertise, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and a social justice lens. The result is a powerful truth-telling method that reveals the ways in which climate change is being experienced by those who are closest to it. 


The SS4S approach to citizen climate journalism is unique because we focus on a particular source of experiential knowledge about the changing oceans- surfers! Surfers are ocean watchers. Because of this, surfers are among the first to witness changes in the ocean and coastal areas, and are an incredible source of knowledge. We invite surfers to share their stories with us as experiential ocean experts. Then, we interview experts in climate science from leading institutions. By putting various epistemologies of knowledge together into a shared story, we bear witness to a richly textured narrative about how the oceans are changing and why it matters. 

Female journalist at press conference, w
Video recording activity within the even
Mature surfers at the beach.jpg
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