JOHANNESBURG/LONDON: ClimateXchange, a pioneering global journalism initiative dedicated to transforming the way climate is conceived, reported and distributed through local media , proudly announces its expansion into Africa.

The milestone comes as the London-based initiative launches a new partnership with Wits Centre for Journalism (WCJ), in the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Renowned for its excellence in journalism education, the WCJ and climateXchange are poised to reshape the landscape of climate journalism by infusing it with depth, relatability, and solutions with local perspectives and impact.


“WCJ’s commitment to fostering excellence in media training and education, and conducting research on various aspects of media, makes it the perfect partner to help identify opportunities for impactful pan-platform local coverage in Africa,” says Alis Okonji, Partner Manager for ClimateXchange. “Our collaboration with a practical academic partner enables us to shape the future of how climate is reported to enable sustainable action whatever the audience.”

ClimateXchange, the flagship initiative of the nonprofit community interest company Syli, seeks to catalyse a fundamental shift in climate-related journalism. Co-founders Tom Trewinnard and Fergus Bell envision this transformation by prioritising locally relevant content that highlights tangible causes of climate change and the global transition to a more sustainable, carbon-conscious lifestyle. Leveraging and networking global content producers facilitated by regional partners such as WCJ in Africa, and WAN-IFRA in South East Asia — which launched in October this year in Singapore — ClimateXchange aims to provide equitable access to trustworthy information and solutions, thereby engaging audiences at a grassroots level.

ClimateXchange stands on three pillars of complementary activities:

  • contentXchange: A reporting and distribution hub where engaging, high-impact journalism on climate and the just transition can be created or shared for reuse and republication by global news media
  • regionalXchange: A network of regional hubs where climate reporting is commissioned and cross-border and cross-regional collaborations are seeded
  • knowledgeXchange: Where the process of ecosystem change begins and sustainability solutions for newsrooms covering the climate crisis are developed and refined


The partnership with the Wits Centre for Journalism further develops a collaborative system in which climateXchange partners will contribute, customise, and utilise story assets for various regions hosted on a central content platform currently in BETA testing. ClimateXchange’s team of visual journalists will also develop and share original content, enabling partners to access trustworthy digital assets that can be distributed to their local audiences.

ClimateXchange and the Wits Centre for Journalism will host a hands-on workshop at the 2023 African Investigative Journalists Conference on 22 November, focusing on finding climate angles within investigative reporting.

Dr. Dinesh Ballah, Director of the Wits Centre for Journalism, said: “The WCJ is delighted to have been selected as the Africa regional hub of the climateXchange programme. The project aligns with our mission to tackle the challenges of climate change through the capacitation of journalists and content producers to make the complexities of climate change accessible and relatable. ClimateXchange will seed a new project at the WCJ — one which aims to mainstream discussions around climate change that are science-driven, accountability-focused and empowers communities to acclimate to the changes that are already part of our realities.” 

The launch of the ClimateXchange platform comes at a pivotal time when media’s coverage of climate change is under intense scrutiny, amid a backdrop of extreme weather events and increasing concerns about record-breaking global temperatures.

For further information or quotes, please contact Shereen Daver, ClimateXchange Programme Director, at




About climateXchange

climateXchange is the lead initiative of new CIC non-profit Syli, founded in London by Tom Trewinnard and Fergus Bell. Syli supports mission-driven journalism in service of informed audiences around the world by fostering new and forward-looking concepts, identifying sustainable financial models for journalism, and creating a healthier, more sustainable media ecosystem. More information can be found here.


About the Wits Centre for Journalism

The Wits Centre for Journalism (WCJ) is one of the leading journalism and media training institutions in Africa, with a history spanning more than two decades. Situated within the School of Literature, Language and Media at Wits University in Johannesburg, the WCJ has become a leading provider of quality postgraduate teaching, thought leadership and practical engagement within the changing world of journalism, research and training.

Research projects range from academic research through the work of faculty members and students, mapping research funded by partners, and commissioned research undertaken by leading industry experts across the continent. The WCJ is home to the African Investigative Journalism Conference, Radio Days Africa and Jamfest, while the Wits Justice Project, Citizen Justice Network, Jamlab Africa and the Africa-China Reporting Project are some of the projects based at the WCJ deepening the Centre’s engagement with the media and journalism industries.