2019 Energy Journalism Initiative Seminar

What is the EJI seminar?

Each summer, CGEP invites energy and environment journalists from around the world to participate in a 4-day program to learn about energy and environmental issues from experts in government, industry, and academia. The interactive program seeks to inform journalists understanding of these nuanced issues and enhance their reporting.

When does it take place (Dates of program/timeline)?

June 11-14, 2019.

Where will the program take place?

The program will take place on the Columbia University campus in New York City.

What can I expect to learn from the seminar?

The program strives to impart specialist knowledge that will help reporters look deeper at the stories they cover in a more holistic, integrated way. While we do not expect participants will emerge as experts in the topics addressed, they should have greater awareness of said topics and how they relate, thus creating the potential for fuller stories in the future.

Please note that this program does not teach basic journalism skills, as that is outside the goals of the program and expertise of the lecturers. The program also does not assign stories to reporters, or participate in any reporting efforts.

Who will teach the initiative?

Energy Journalism Initiative seminars will be taught by Columbia faculty and scholars as well as other academic, private-sector and government experts.

What topics are covered in the seminar?

Topics will cover a broad range of economic, policy and technology issues in a survey-course fashion. Focus will be on the relationship between the sectors and the need to examine and understand the energy ecosystem in total to analyze discrete components. 

2018 Working Agenda can be found here [PDF]

What format will the sessions take?

The program will strive to ensure that sessions are interactive and participatory. A lecture format will be used sparingly.

Can it be done remotely?

No, you must attend all sessions in person.

Will hotel accommodation and transportation costs be covered?

Yes, the program is able cover hotel room fees and transportation costs for participants up to a threshold level. Meals will be provided as part of the seminar. The program does not cover taxis or other ground transportation or meals outside of the program.

How will I stay connected?

Participants will receive regular communication and materials from the Initiative in an on-going fashion

I want more information. Whom do I contact?

For more information, you can contact us at eji@sipa.columbia.edu

how can i apply?

Find out how to apply here. Deadline is February 3, 2019.

About the Application & Selection Process

What are the elegibility Criteria for applicants?

The selection committee seeks to admit reporters who are relatively new to the energy beat. Priority will be given to reporters who have 5 years or less of direct reporting experience covering energy and the environment, although anyone with 10 years or less of direct reporting experience is eligible to apply. The Initiative has identified print reporters (defined in the broader sense to include major and local newspapers, wire services, trade outlets, and internet/new media outlets) as the primary candidate pool. Radio/TV reporters who write regularly for their news organization’s web site are welcome to apply, as well.

I’m currently in school. Can I still apply?

No, this program is specifically designed for currently working journalists.

I live abroad. Can I apply?

Yes, but all visa arrangements and costs must be borne by you.

I’m a journalist who doesn’t cover energy or the environment. Can I apply?

If you are a journalist who does not currently cover energy or the environment but will begin to do so in your professional capacity in the near future, you are eligible to apply. You must, however, show that you will be covering energy and environmental topics prior to or upon completion of the program, attesting to this fact in the recommendation letter from your supervisor.  

What is the admissions process?

A Review Committee will look at the applications of all candidates and, from those who meet all the requirements, make its selections.

Is this a certificate or degree program from Columbia?

No, this is not a certificate or degree program.

Will I be considered a Columbia student?

No, you will not be considered a Columbia student.

Do I need letters of recommendation?

Yes. You must submit one letter of recommendation from your direct supervisor or manager.

Can broadcast journalists apply?

Yes, as long at their reporting includes written stories on their news organization's web sites.

Can freelance journalists apply?

Yes, freelance journalists can apply. All other conditions must still be met.

What is Expected from Participants?

Evaluation Form

Participants in the program will be expected to complete an evaluation form examining the topics and sessions, which will be consulted in improving the program going forward.

Six Month Report

The participants will also be expected to produce a brief report six months after the Initiative that references 2-4 articles they wrote during the intervening period and describes how the program enhanced their coverage and changed their approach to the stories. The report should include as an appendix all the relevant energy stories the reporter has written.

Manager Questionnaire

In addition, the participant’s direct manager will be required to fill out a short, questionnaire at this same six-month period after the seminar to provide an independent assessment of the progress of the reporter, and whether the manager believes that the Initiative contributed to those gains. Managers will be made aware of this requirement when they sign off on the attendance of their reporters.