EMS Journalist Award
The EMS Journalist Award, launched in 2014, aims to highlight outstanding examples of journalism in the field of meteorology or climate science. Publications that successfully inform and educate the general public are vital to bridge the communication gap between science and society.
The award is given biennially.
Name and scope of the Award
The EMS Journalistic Award
The EMS Journalist Award aims to support and highlight authors who produce outstanding examples of journalism in the field of meteorology or climate science that help to bridge the communication gap between science including its applications and the public.
The award is given biennially.
Work from all types of media is accepted. This can include newspaper articles and features in magazines (print or online, including social media), one-minute TV or radio broadcasts, or any other suitable format. Not accepted are TV weather forecasts, books, extensive broadcast series or movies.
Eligibility and submission
- An author may either apply him-/herself for the award, or she/he may be nominated/proposed by a third party (Meteorological Societies, Meteorological Services, Associate Member organisations, select committee members and individuals).
- A single example as well as a small series of publications (maximum three) is admissible.
- English-language media are in a favoured position, when it comes to international competition, because of the lingua franca status of this language. However in national or regional media other languages are predominantly used outside of countries with an English-speaking majority. In order to improve equivalent opportunities for non-English-language media, English-language submissions are considered with low priority every alternate announcement of the award. As the current planning foresees a biennial giving of this award, English-language examples will be considered with low priority for this award in the years 2019, 2023, and so on.
- For non-English media, a translation in English is required. For larger volumes at least a summary is required. Authors will need to keep in mind that for non-English work the summary will be the basis for the assessment by those committee members that do not have a working knowledge of the respective language.
- The submitted work must have been produced during the 3 years preceding the submission deadline.
- The documentation required for the application or nomination must include full name and contact details of the author, suitable documentation of the report or media file in digital format (PDF-file containing a scan of the original paper, an internet link, an audio or movie file or similar).
- Permission to publish the work in a suitable format to be agreed with the author on the EMS Media must be given/secured by the time of submission. Otherwise the submission will not be accepted.
- A selection committee of at least five, including one member of the EMS Media Team, is responsible for the announcement of the award and the selection of the winning entry among the submissions. Three experts of the committee are appointed by the EMS Council on a yearly basis.
- The selection committee will normally work by e-mail. A telephone conference may be called should this be advisable.
- Nominations and applications for one of the Media Awards can be transferred to a different category should the respective committee find it more suitable for a different type of award. This process should be completed within a week after the application deadline.
- The majority of committee member votes decides on the selection. A committee member should abstain from voting in case that he/she collaborates or has collaborated with the author of the submission. Each year the award is announced not more than one awardee is selected.
The Awardee will be invited to attend the EMS Annual Meeting. The award will include an award trophy and certificate that will be presented to the author at the EMS Annual Meeting.
The recognised work shall either be published as an example of Best Practice on the EMS Website, or summarised and linked to, depending on the type of publication and type of applicable license.
Call for submissions
The deadline for submissions in 2017 has expired on 3 June 2017. Astrid Rommetveit from Norway received the EMS Journalist Award 2017.
The next call for submissions will be announced in spring 2019.
Recipients of the Journalist Award
Astrid Rommetveit is a Journalist with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation NRK.
As a journalist, she specializes on weather and climate, committing herself to tell important stories to a broad public. She is striving to make complex issues accessible, relevant and understandable to the readers. ‘I wan’t to show the big picture by telling “small” stories, often focusing on single persons’.
Astrid Rommetveit was nominated for the Journalist Award on the basis of three recent articles published on the popular Norwegian websites Yr.no and NRK.no. Yr is a cooperation between NRK and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, and NRK has the full editorial responsibility.
- Oddvar has devoted his life to the rain (29.11.2015)
- Preparing the world’s largest experiment (19.03.2017)
- Battling the contrails (02.04.2017)
Astrid Rommeveit receives the EMS Jounrnalist Award for her very important work in helping to bridge the gap in understanding between experts and non-experts; she covers complex topics and presents them in an understandable and accessible way, without oversimplifying them. Rommetveit takes seriously one of the most important missions of journalists, which is to give the reader the full capacity to understand a complex topic.
Her articles have a strong human touch combined with science, which makes them interesting to the general public. They address successfully different aspects and facts, focusing on “small” stories and single persons, using people’s statements. She provides a lively account by developing stories using people’s statements to present facts and different points of view in sometimes controversial stories.
Her chemtrails article makes it clear that the intention of the journalist is to discuss and discover, rather than pre-judge or condescend. It is of great importance to have journalists, such as Rommetveit, who is willing to cope with the facts without using false balance to give a misleading impression of objectivity.
All articles are well-structured, well-written, easy to read, with relevant images, and well-documented with scientific facts. They help bridging the communication gap between scientific achievements and research results and the public, presenting different points of view for complex topics.
Climate researchers do need more of these bridge builders like Astrid Rommetveit, helping the society to understand different points of view on topics like in the article Astrid wrote about artificial clouds. It is an example of great scientific journalism in the field of meteorology and climate science.
EMS Journalist Award 2015 for Stéphane Foucart, France
Stéphane Foucart regularly publishes articles on the environment and climate change in the “Planet” section of “Le Monde”. He was nominated for the Journalist Award on the basis of three recent articles published in “Le Monde”:
- One third of sea level rise is due to melting of high altitude glaciers (Le Monde, Planète, June 2013) – translated into English
- The climate and war (Le Monde, Planète, November 2014) – translated into English
- Climate and the trade of doubt (Le Monde, Planète, March 2015) – translated into English
In his articles, Stéphane Foucart is addressing climate change and its social and environment impact, highlighting the different aspects (e.g. in the context of history and politics) and reporting the recent scientific facts, while keeping a high level of objectiveness.
He is vigilant to detect and expose misleading information about climate change and he is reporting in an understandable way the scientific facts about the environment, the climate and also about climate change in the context of politics. These implications of climate and climate change are rarely addressed by meteorologists or climatologists, but are of utmost importance. Foucart adds to the scientific facts the perspective of a competent journalist, placing climate change into a broader frame. This is an impressive work.
Stéphane Foucart was born in 1973; he has been working for “Le Monde” for 15 years now, and he is the journal’s environmental sciences correspondent since 2007. He is also the author of books investigating the corporate influence on science (Le Populisme climatique, 2010, and La Fabrique du mensonge, 2013).
Journalist Award: Award recipient and Honourable Mentions 2014
The first EMS Award for Achievements in Journalism was presented to John Sweeney, Ireland.
John Sweeney has had a large impact on communicating climate and meteorology to the people of Ireland. He tackles the important issue of communicating climate change science to the public with a calm and accurate manner. He reaches radio and television audiences by using easily understandable examples without distorting the underlying scientific message, thereby bridging the gap between the scientific community and the public. His ability to explain difficult concepts clearly and accuratly, without loss of detail, is especially noted with this award.
John Sweeney is Emeritus Professor at the Irish Climate Analysis and Research UnitS (ICARUS) at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. For the past few decades he has been the main communicator of information about climate change, extreme weather and other meteorological information to the Irish public through all forms of journalistic media.
See some examples of his interviews and articles:
- Looking Back and Looking Forward: Newspaper article dealing with aspects of the extremely cold winter 2010/2011 in Ireland (appeared in Sunday Business Post)
- Daily breakfast news programme on TV3 (Ireland): discussion around the role of jet streams in producing the wet summer conditions over Ireland in 2012 [mp3, 8.9 MB]
- John Sweeney warns about climate problems on National television news bulletin (RTE Ireland)
Two other very interesting and innovative projects deserve mention:
- The Barometer podcasts, a series of audio-diaries about atmospheric science topics
- A half-hour radio broadcast by Rainer Schultheiss, produced during a walk with an interviewee: video sequence [2.8MB]