GNF - Young Journalists

Young Journalists for the Environment

Development of modern environmental education curricula with a focus on nature journalism and new media.



In light of progressively intense climate change, the heated debate over energy and the increasing loss of biodiversity are constantly gaining more importance as global environmental themes while nature conservation and environmental education are caught among new challenges in the global digital age. Modern communications platforms and media channels are especially popular with children and youth. In order to keep pace and convey important information about the environment and sustainability, environmental organizations need to develop new communications concepts to make conservation topics attractive to younger generations. The destruction of our water sources — especially lakes and aquatic zones — often receives little mention in the media as compared to global catastrophes. They are, however, no less dramatic. The destruction of nature as well as its conservation both takes place “directly in front of our door.” Environmental education can play an important role in preventing and combating the destruction of these sensitive ecosystems while also motivating people to support actions to protect the environment. In order to pique their interest in nature and water conservation, children and youth need a creative and emotional connection to real environmental actions. This can be accomplished with the help of modern communications strategies and platforms. 


Project Goals

Youth are to be informed and sensitized to environmental and conservation themed issues with a new, future-oriented environmental education concept. Under the project’s framework, students ages 15 to 18 will develop a digital environmental magazine and disseminate content via various new media channels. The “Young Journalists” can visit local nature preserves and conservation projects to learn about environmental issues up close that are usually popularized in the media and depicted as taking place far away. 


The project relates to youth going through a life-orienting phase by creating a direct connection with journalism and the implementation of new forms of media. Participants gain new insights into how the world of journalism functions while enriching their career paths with new skills.

The project forges new ways for exposing nature and the environment to people in a modern context. The concept of a contemporary, emotionally appealing, and creative form of environmental education for younger generations is being tested and should be developed as a model for future environmental and conservation work with youth.


Project Measures 

Many educational programs highly stress cognitive components. In this project, additionally creative and emotional approaches are taken because learning about and understanding the interconnectivity of nature is more profound when connected with emotional experiences. For this reason, participating “Young Journalists” will visit natural resource treasures, conservation projects, and environmentally impacted sites that they can report on in their digital environmental magazine. They can use social networks to share, and prepare their experiences. Environmental and conservation themed issues should be “in”. Youth will be offered seminars to aid them in learning about journalistic work. Experienced professionals will closely assist them in the finalization of their digital publications. Participation in this project will enhance their resumes by developing new skills and gaining valuable experiences while also providing critical and emotional analysis of current environmental issues.

Photo: © M.R. /

Photo: © Rainer Sturm /

Photo: © Peter Derrfuss /

Photo: © Joachim Kirchner /




 Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB
 Federal Environment Agency (UBA)

Project Duration:


Project Location:






Project Partners:

May 2014 – December 2015




German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA)


Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), unit of Radolfzell-Möggingen; Regionales Umweltbildungszentrum Steinhuder Meer (RUZ) (Institution for environmental education); natur – Das Magazin für Natur, Umwelt und besseres Leben (German environmental magazine)


The publisher is responsible for the content of this publication.


This project is led under the framework of the Living Lakes Network Germany. The Network is supported by the Anton & Petra Ehrmann Foundation.

 Anton & Petra Ehrmann Foundation
 Network Living Lakes Germany