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A Global Challenge for Teenage Journalists: Getting to know who is really saving the planet

Climate Champion Profiles

Any teenage journalist anywhere in the world can profile someone who is helping — really helping — to save the planet for our new global storytelling challenge. Deadline is 1 March 2023 for the profiles: original works in English as text, a podcast, a video or multimedia. Winners get a cash prize plus coaching and publication by News Decoder. The challenge is organized by Global Youth & News Media.





This journalism challenge is part of The Writing’s on the Wall project, a partnership of the global educational news service News Decoder (France), The Climate Academy based at the European School Brussels II (Belgium) and the Global Youth & News Media nonprofit (France). It is co-funded by the European Union as part of its Erasmus+ initiative and by The New Earth Foundation (USA).


The challenge is open to teenagers (ages 13-19) anywhere in the world, working individually or as a team of two. A teacher or journalism coordinator will both register for the challenge and submit the entry. The first step once the teenage journalist has confirmed a profile subject is for a teacher or journalism coordinator to REGISTER HERE.




We invite teenage journalists worldwide to profile someone who has made an impact through one or more projects taking us closer to saving the planet. These are individuals in communities across the globe who are disrupting or “moving the needle,” making a difference in stopping climate change such as by launching or carrying out projects that make real progress toward removing carbon, lowering emissions,  passing climate change legislation and doing these and other kinds of actions on a local level that, if copied elsewhere, could have major impact.

It is part of the assignment to define and defend what the teenage journalist contends it means to “move the needle” and to show how the person profiled has accomplished this.

The profile should cover how the action might have global reach or how such projects on the local level can be replicated elsewhere and contribute to systemic change.

For all entries, participants must interview the climate champion, and these interviews must be recorded (minimally audio or, preferably, with video from which images can be captured). This is necessary for verification purposes. Participants are also encouraged to speak to an expert who can independently assess the climate champion’s impact. We provide a FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS section HERE:




The winners will be the entries that best explain in an engaging and coherent profile how the individual has made a clear impact in the fight against climate change.


The winners get coaching from the top editor at News Decoder, the international educational news service, with the goal of publication. The top two winners will receive a cash prize of $500 each.


All participants have access to The Writing’s on the Wall project resources: climate backgrounders and webinars, tips about interviewing and the storytelling process, and more. See below for details.


Entries must be original reporting (not published anywhere else), in English and in any one of the following formats with links to the content submitted by a teacher or journalism coordinator on behalf of the author(s):


      • TEXT – A  narrative style or a Question & Answer format with a substantial introduction. No more than 1000 words total. Winners will need to provide two publishable photos of the subject.

      • VIDEO – No more than 5 minutes with subtitling (in English).

      • PODCAST – No more than 3 minutes with a transcript.

    • MULTIMEDIA – No more than 5 minutes to consume.


Once the teenage journalist has chosen a profile subject, the teacher or journalism coordinator representing the author(s) must REGISTER HERE. The person who registered will then receive details about how to submit the entry.

IMPORTANT: No matter what the format, entries should be stored online with password-free links to the content itself. Also, links to recording(s) of the interview(s) with the profile subject need to be available for verification purposes.



Deadline: 1 March 2023 

Winners announced: April 2023. 

Publishing will occur after winners have been fully coached.


The Writing’s on the Wall project partners have created background content that will be very useful to those entering this challenge.  That material comes from both the nonprofit news service News Decoder (France) and The Climate Academy based at the European School Brussels II (Belgium).

THE CLIMATE ACADEMY  is providing a “Rough Guide to the Climate Crisis” by Matthew Pye, philosophy teacher and founder of the Climate Academy. He examines the science and impact of the climate crisis through psychology, philosophy and sociology in a series of compact, entertaining and informative videos [about 10 minutes each] with accompanying chapters to elaborate on the video content. A teachers’ guide will also be available.

One key instalment (video and chapter) treats the CUTx index, which offers a powerful and easy reference point to assess any nation’s climate commitment. That instalment is a must-see to get a sense of the level of the challenge for the profile subject’s country.



In addition, this nonprofit wire service also offers top-notch coverage of the climate crisis.


The Writing’s on the Wall project aims to help student journalists in their climate change reporting and to offer schools new tools to integrate climate science into their teaching. The project’s name was inspired by a mural created that student activists at ESBII in Brussels and by the fact that time is running out for a climate solution. All of the project’s resources are available free of charge to teachers and students around the world.

Global Youth & News Media is administering this challenge as part of its work to bring together youth and news media through a journalistic prism for the benefit of both and to help amplify the journalism of young people.


First check our Frequently Asked Questions page. If the answer isn’t there, give us a shout at



Terms & Conditions

1. Eligibility – People ages 13-19 on or before 3 March 2023 are eligible, with entries to be submitted by adults who are either the teacher or youth journalism coordinator of the author(s). In order to enter the challenge, participants agree to the Official Rules. The Rules consist of the terms and conditions stated here, in the assignment and on the Registration Form.

2. Challenge Period and Organizers – The overall challenge period (including judging) begins in November 2022 and ends at midnight (CET) on 30 April  2023, with a deadline for entries of 1 March 2023. The challenge is organized by Global Youth & News Media and News Decoder in the context of The Writings On The Wall project co-funded by the European Union and by the New Earth Foundation.

3. How to Enter – The adult representative (teacher or youth journalism coordinator) of the author(s) will register for participation using the Registration Form and will then receive instructions for submission of the entry itself.


4. Judging and Selection of Winners – Entries will be judged by our international panel of judges. Judging will be based on a sliding scale of 1-10 (1 as the lowest and 10 as the highest) based on the criteria of rigour in the reporting and quality of the writing.

5. Winner(s) – Will be announced on or before Monday 3 April 2023. The organizer will be available to arrange with teachers and youth journalism coordinators for participation certificates for other entrants should this be desired.

6. Privacy Notice – Any personal data collected during the course of the  Climate Champions Profiles Challenge is strictly necessary for the processing of participation in the challenge and will only be used for purposes reasonably connected with administering and promoting this challenge, including certain communications related to it.

In accordance with the French modified law n° 78-17 of January 6, 1978 (Computing and Liberties) and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), participants have a right to access and rectification of data concerning them by writing to the following address: or to the following postal address: Global Youth & News Media, 39 rue Pannecau, 64100 Bayonne.

Subject to parental consent for a minor, the organizers may also share personal data of the overall winner(s) and runners-up with the press and via social media for publicity purposes.

7. No Recourse to judicial or other procedures – To the extent permitted by law, the rights to litigate, to seek injunctive relief or to any other recourse to judicial or any other procedure in case of disputes or claims resulting from or in connection with this Challenge are hereby excluded. By accepting the terms and conditions on the registration form, you acknowledge and agree, and expressly waive any and all such rights.