Sign up to our newsletter

Welcome to See Through News

Speeding Up Carbon Drawdown by Helping the Inactive Become Active

[wpedon id=3642]

See Through News Global Reporter Intensive Training (GRIT)

news journalism see through news global reporter intensive training scheme GRIT speed up carbon drawdown

An international initiative to train reporters concerned about Speeding Up Carbon Drawdown to professional video journalism standards

“News is something somebody doesn’t want printed; all else is advertising.”

If you’re familiar with this George Orwell quote, your crash course in ethical journalism starts here. Always check your sources. 

This quote, or something similar, is all over the Internet, usually attributed to George Orwell, sometimes to William Randolph Hearst. A quick fact reveals no ironclad evidence either of them coined the phrase.

We applaud the quote’s sentiment, however. Good journalism always asks one more question, verifies what can be verified, is unimpressed by authority and status, and values facts and evidence over opinion and rumour. 

Why is journalism important for climate change?

Without good, ethical, independent journalism, we are vulnerable to lies and distractions.

Good journalism helps us:

  • understand atmospheric physics
  • face reality
  • understand the link between climate science and its impact on our lives
  • assess our options to mitigate global heating’s worst effects
  • form reasoned opinions based on objective evidence
  • spot Fake News, misinformation, and disinformation
  • communicate carbon-reducing actions to the Inactive
  • make the Inactive Active

If you were deterred, or feared others might be deterred, by seeing ‘atmospheric physics’ at the top of the list, you understand the challenge of communicating critically urgent scientific facts.

‘Proper’ journalism is hard and time-consuming. You need to be open-minded and empathetic, but also stubborn and determined. Poor or lazy journalists quote uncritically from a juicy Twitter feed, making them vulnerable to disinformation or cunning satirists. They’re unhappy with facts ruining a good story.

Good journalism requires grit. Hence…

GRIT Introduction

The See Through News Global Reporter Intensive Training (GRIT) is:

  • volunteer-lead
  • professional standard
  • open source
  • free   

GRIT uses tried-and-tested See Through News projects to build confidence in TV journalism basics. Each week-long module produces quality, shareable video content. This promotes the See Through News Goal while creating a solid foundation from which graduates can self-improve.

We hope GRIT graduates will in turn volunteer their services to create quality content for their local See Through News groups, but they’ll also be able to deploy their new skills however they like for anyone else, either passion projects or to earn money. GRIT leaves them with a starter portfolio of their own creations, showcasing their skills to any prospective customer or employer.

The best way to learn is to teach. We also hope GRIT graduates will go on to volunteer as mentors themselves, as well as applying their new skills to STN and any other projects or work.

Trainees can use the reports and video content they make during their training to convince their employers, teachers, colleagues, institutions or schools to join in on a larger scale.

GRIT graduates have an immediate global network of like-minded colleagues, both directly through the people they meet on their training scheme, and indirectly to other GRIT graduates and STN network volunteers.

A single grain of grit stimulates an oyster to produce a pearl. We hope GRIT, building itself up in successively bigger layers, will be the stimulus for journalistic pearls all over the world.

What will I learn?

This YouTube playlist shows examples of films from one of our pilot projects.

  • All 15 films were made by 10-15 year old children from schools in the Nairobi slum of Mathare, helped by 5 teachers.
  • None had any previous filmmaking experience.
  • The only equipment they had were 2 second-hand laptops, 4 cheap Chinese smartphones with limited memory, and a sometimes-unreliable internet connection.
  • The GRIT course ran for 6 consecutive days, with daily video sessions of around an hour, supplemented by online communication, monitoring and feedback.
  • The course mentors were all professional broadcast veterans with extensive training experience.
  • All the films were entered into an international competition in its 5th year – two of them won prizes.

The GRIT course is designed to be flexible.

How long is the GRIT course?

  • You can self-study or learn in groups.
  • If you want an experienced trainer, See Through News can supervise online or in person.
  • An intensive course is 1 week, for those with limited time, it can stretch over several weeks.
  • Mentor contact can be daily, weekly, or anything in between.
  • For individuals or groups who can’t afford it, online mentors are available for free
  • Those who can afford it will be asked to make a reasonable donation to subsidise those who can’t.

What are the GRIT course options?

Here are examples of ways GRIT can be delivered:

Solo: By following the online resources, anyone can ‘self-study’ without any support from the See Through News pool of volunteer mentors. If you encounter problems, or need some advice, email An expert mentor will get in touch as soon as they’re available.

Group Online: See Through News is experienced at delivering training online. Our trainers can be available for 60-90 minutes each day/week to review progress, troubleshoot, give feedback and set appropriate homework for the next session.

Group In-person: 12 online sessions over 4 weeks may appear absurdly ambitious to aspire to train anyone in anything, but particularly something involving as many different disciplines as TV news. After all, university courses in broadcast journalism can take 3 years. 

Experience has taught us, however, that while practice makes perfect, and the more you do, the better you’ll get, our GRIT course will leave graduates with a firm grasp of the basics, confident they now have the skills to produce consistent, high quality, journalistically sound video content. 

See Through News mentors are all experienced international broadcasters, teachers and mentors. Motivated, smart people with a passion for storytelling with a purpose tend to be quick learners. Such people pick up what they need to know quickly, as they immediately start imagining how it might be applied to further their cause. 

Just ask Orson Welles, who knew a thing or two about filmmaking, but not before he made his first film. In this interview, the director of a landmark in filmmaking innovation explains how he achieved this because of, not despite, his inexperience.

See Through News’s own experience, as expressed in the Learning for Real documentaries available for free as part of our See Through Education free teaching resources, is that children of all ages respond far better to being given real responsibility than less ambitious teaching schemes imagine possible. 

Our practical experience of running our own projects has taught us this applies to children of all ages, from primary school students engaging with the Superhero Drawing Competition, to young (and older) adult novice participants of 1 Sunday Morning, 4 Films.

We’re applying the same principles, experiences and proven modules to GRIT and video journalism.

Video journalism basics

TV news/filmmaking is – ideally – a collaborative endeavour, with specialists contributing their particular skills to produce content with high professional standards, both in terms of technical quality, and journalistic integrity.

Budgets and convenience mean individuals often multi-task, even ‘one-man-banding’ all of these tasks. Wherever possible, more creative heads, if they collaborate positively, are better than one, but for specialists and jacks-of-all-trades alike, it’s important to have at least experienced all of these roles once.  

Editing your own footage makes you a better shooter. Editing your own script makes you a better writer. Recording someone else’s voiceover makes you a better narrator.

GRIT covers the following basics:

  • Researching
  • Producing
  • Interviewing
  • Shooting video
  • Capturing audio
  • Editing
  • Writing
  • Distributing content online

Project Outline

See Through News uses industry veterans, via proven projects, to train a group of STN-aligned participants online in the skills of video journalism.

The benefits to STN and the trainees are as follows:

  1. These STN trainee reporters learn online with others around the world
  2. The training programme outcomes include making their own reports on climate-related issues (see Pilot GRIT Programme below)
  3. STN distributes and shares the trainees’ reports online, via our own network and others
  4. Trainees show their reports to their workplaces/institutions/NGOs/schools to get them involved
  5. Graduates contribute their reports to the STN network, and mentor new trainees

Programme Participation Requirements

GRIT participants must adhere to strict conditions. They must:

  1. be human
  2. not pay any money for their training
  3. want to speed up carbon drawdown
  4. want to do this by helping the Inactive become Active
  5. reside in one of the UN’s 196 member states, or failing that, a non-UN state
  6. be between 2-125 years old, give or take a couple of years
  7. have access to some kind of camera
  8. have internet access

TV is best done collaboratively. Working as part of a crew enables each trainee to experience all the basic skills, while giving them the space to focus on one or two of them at a time.

GRIT trainees will make new friends and connections, learn about each other’s countries and situations, and introduce what they’ve learned to like-minded friends, family and colleagues. This will prepare them to deliver the same course themselves, with remote support from experienced STN volunteers, all TV news veterans.

Once the lessons of the Pilot have been absorbed, we’ll open GRIT to trainees of different ages and backgrounds. We’ll then run these courses when there are enough applicants in the relevant time zones and language groups.

If you, or anyone you know, would like to apply for a GRIT course, complete this Application Form.

If you, or anyone you know, would like to volunteer to be a GRIT mentor, complete this Volunteer Form.

Pilot Programme Schedule

The Pilot runs from mid-March to mid-April 2023. This provisional schedule, include each week’s: 

  • Goal
  • Output
  • Schedule
  • Approximate total time commitment

Week 1 (w/c Mar 20) : How To Live Without Plastic


basic skills to frame video, capture good audio, so simple editing, and interview people you know


short videos to be distributed via STN network


  • 90min group introduction online.
  • 2-4 hours solo filming in free time
  • 90min group editing training online
  • 2 hours solo editing in free time
  • 90min group sharing session

Total Time Commitment: 

Approx. 9 hours, 3 online sessions

Week 2 (w/c Mar 27): Vox Pox Project


more challenging shooting, editing skills and storytelling, interviewing strangers


short videos to be distributed via STN network


  • 1 hour group introduction online.
  • 2-3 hours solo filming in free time
  • 1 hour group editing training online
  • 2 hours solo editing in free time
  • 90min group sharing session

Total Time Commitment: 

Approx. 8 hours, 3 online sessions

Week 3 (w/c April 3): Local Flood Report


adapting shooting and editing skills to make a unique report, based on a structured format provided by STN


local reports to be distributed via STN network


  • 1 hour group introduction online.
  • 2-4 hours solo filming in free time
  • 1 hour group editing training online
  • 2 hours solo editing in free time
  • 90min group sharing session

Total Time Commitment: 

Approx. 8 hours, 3 online sessions

Week 4 (w/c April 10) : Competition Entry 


apply skills to brainstorm, conceive and create own videos on the topic of Finance and Net Zero for a global competition for 10-18 year olds.


own original proposal for locally addressing Net Zero Goal with real-world deadline of April 15th 2023.

  • 1 hour brainstorm session
  • 3-6 hours filming in free time
  • 1 hour Rough Cut Review
  • 1 hour Fine Cut Review

Total Time Commitment: 

Approx. 8 hours, 3 online sessions

How To Apply

Just fill out this form.

The GRIT Application Form includes questions about your time zone, language preferences, and access to cameras/smartphones/laptops/internet. Your answers will make it easier for us to assign you to a group in which you’d be most comfortable, and to use appropriate tech for video editing.

Applicants will be added to a waiting list. We’ll get in touch as soon as we have an appropriate course available.