cXC editorial & Media guidelines

Editorial GUIDELINES

Three pillars of climate reporting:

Objectivity However emotive the subject matter, content should be delivered in a way that captures diverse viewpoints, isn’t inappropriately coloured by the views of the reporter or the title, and is free of agenda, save for one: that climate change is happening, and action must be encouraged.  

Accuracy Journalists must source their material ethically and tenaciously, scrutinising their work for ambiguity and producing content that is persuasive yet factually unimpeachable to the highest degree possible.  

Relatability The blight of climate reporting is that it is happening far away, to someone else. Bring it home to people; make them see why this affects them, too. And show them exactly how little changes made by many can add up to big changes for everyone.

To ensure all our stories follow this blueprint, we have created a set of story tenets called IMERCS. These stipulate that really great climateXchange stories are: 

  • Inspiring Craft immersive, original content that is affecting and actionable in equal measure – inspires conscious living
  • Memorable Tell stories that linger and create action that becomes habit and impact
  • Empowering Arm your audience to understand ‘why’—and with solutions to make a positive change
  • Relatable Create content that readers can identify with on subjects they engage with in their day-to-day lives. Use familiar frames of reference, numbers that mean something and outcomes anyone can understand
  • Credible Use balanced, unimpeachable information responsibly told, without agenda, from the best experts available
  • Shareable Design aspirational social-first content that delivers information fast and is amplified easily

editor’s code of practice

Misinformation and distrust both in climate science and journalism is at an all-time high. To build trust with our audiences, climateXchange partners must adhere to its code of practice for responsible reporting. [climateXchange is an initiative of community interest company Syli as such below the entity is referred to as climateXchange/Syli]: 

  1. Accuracy and sourcing of information
  • Information must be sourced responsibly and ethically. Strive to include voices from all credible sides of the subject. Anonymous sources must be used only in exceptional circumstances.
  • Prioritise reputable scientific sources. Consider carefully whether dubious or controversial opinions on climate change that disregard scientific evidence or prioritise political or economic gains should be platformed, even in context. 
  • When quoting a study, care must be taken to ensure the source is peer-reviewed and reputable, and where possible authored by more than one individual. Whenever possible attempt to include at least one objective source; avoid basing stories entirely on the content of one study. 
  • cXc/Syli partners must take care not to publish misleading, inaccurate or distorted information. This includes images and/or headlines disingenuous to the text.
  • Any significant misleading information, inaccuracy or distortion must be corrected promptly, with due prominence, and — if appropriate — an apology published. We recommend that if an online story contains a correction, this should be acknowledged in an appropriate place stating what was corrected and when.
  • Avoid using hidden devices, intercepted phone calls or other clandestine means to gather information. If it is deemed information that came to your attention in this manner is in the public interest, discuss with your editor and with cXc before sharing
  • If the article uses quotes or information sourced from a previously published third party, include the source—and remember that such acknowledgment does not indemnify you from legal proceedings if the information is deemed to be libellous or defamatory 
  • Articles must be fact-checked and sources tested for credibility and integrity to the fullest practical extent 
  • Information must be sourced with due care given to the safeguarding of minors, compromised sources/whistleblowers and/or vulnerable individuals 
  1. Objectivity and conflicts of interest
  • cXc/Syli partners must strive to deliver information without political bias or agenda in a way that is objective, fair and backed up with credible intelligence.
  • We accept that a certain amount of editorialisation is a matter of house style—but with a subject as prone to politicisation and distrust as climate reporting, we ask that the subject is treated in a manner that focuses on facts. 
  • Local knowledge and positioning can be an asset to a story, but if a journalist’s ability to report on a story objectively due to their relationship to the subject matter, consider whether that journalist is an appropriate voice. 
  • cXc/Syli will not accept commercially sponsored material or editorial that appears to serve the purposes of an associated financial interest. Where partnerships are in evidence disclosures must be included in the story and on the article envelope for assessment.  
  1. Nature of content and community standards

cXc/Syli will not accept stories featuring material containing or subtexts that imply:

  • defamatory content against individual(s) or groups that isn’t rooted in fact
  • prejudicial or discriminatory content against any persons or groups  
  • swear words outside of quotes
  • sexual swear words 
  • terms of racist or ethnic abuse
  • terms of sexual and sexist abuse or abuse referring to sexuality or gender identity
  • pejorative terms relating to illness or disabilities
  • casual or derogatory use of holy names or religious words and especially in combination with other strong language
  • Incitement to intimidation, violence or or other lawbreaking or any suggestion of approval of such activity
  • Political lobbying or partisan language
  • Sexualised nudity, content or innuendo

In addition, content shared with cXc/Syli must:

  • be respectful of individuals’ privacy and dignity
  • not in violation of an individual or organisation’s intellectual property (IP) 
  • not praise, substantively support or represent positively events or organisations that engage in what cXc/Syli deems violent conduct
  1. Using climateXchange as a content source

Syli takes care to ensure material hosted on the exchange is sourced from reputable
newsrooms—all of whom have entered into an agreement to abide by our Code of Content when authoring. However it is impossible to ensure all information is accurate and against all potential implications arising from local nuances and tastes, subject sensitivities and regional translations. As such Syli cannot accept liability for inaccuracies, libellous or defamatory content, copyright infringement, IP infringement or other legal proceedings that could result from publishing stories sourced from other newsrooms using the exchange. Anyone using content from Syli must:

  • Treat the content with the same diligence as they would native material, with links, image permissions and facts checked as a two-factor standard
  • Consider any local legal implications when republishing the work, any developments or changes in the subject that may have occurred since its authoring, and any situational factors that may cause it or its meaning to be misinterpreted  
  • As publisher accept ultimate liability for content published in accordance with your local media law and any territories where the content is likely to be shared or seen
  • The original source of the content—including imagery or graphics—must be credited as specified 

5.  Modifying and optimising content 

climateXchange thrives on collaboration and innovative use of its member newsrooms content. It believes that good information finds most resonance when it is optimised to its hosting platform for greatest reach. You may modify elements of the content for this purpose, as long as: 

  • Changes are limited to localisation, format optimisation changes and length
  • The overall message of the work is not changed from the original 
  • Elements are not added or lost which affect or colour the credibility of the source material
  • Credit is given to the original  source
  • Please note: For rights reasons, cXc Originals video cannot be modified.

6. Corrections and takedown policy

  • If you become aware of an inaccuracy in a piece of content you have used or contributed to climateXchange, please notify us immediately using corrections@climatexc.org
  • As listed in Section 1 of the guidelines above, any significant misleading information, inaccuracy or distortion must be corrected promptly, with due prominence, and—if appropriate—an apology published. We recommend that if an online story contains a correction, this should be acknowledged in an appropriate place stating what was corrected and when. Correcting or removing stories from circulation entirely without explanation undermines credibility and should be avoided unless legally advised.  

7. Reciprocation on cXc

The founding principle of cXc is one of reciprocity. It is a condition of membership that if a partner uses material from the contentXchange, they will reciprocate by contributing content that may be useful to other partners, removing the barriers of cost and logistics that may otherwise preclude coverage of important or globally-resonant local content to audiences beyond borders. Please refer to the Organisation Membership Terms and Conditions for details of uploading and downloading content.

It is important all cXc members abide by this principle of exchange. Failure to do so may result in a review and termination of membership. 

8. Community conduct

cXc hosts content produced by professionals from a range of backgrounds and cultures. Users of cXc content and channels have a right to use the platform in a manner that is professional, safe and supportive. Users are asked to conduct collaboration and communication on these channels in a way that reflects this. When using cXc collaboration and communication channels please: 

  • do not share personal contact details 
  • avoid critical or inflammatory comments, especially concerning individuals or content
  • do not employ language, viewpoints or humour that may be interpreted as offensive
  • Maintain apolitical and secular engagement  

Any abuse of the channels should be reported to feedback@climatexc.org

9. Complaints 

If there is a problem with a story on cXc please use the Slack channel or email corrections@climatexc.org. If you have feedback, a suggestion or a complaint about the platform please email feedback@climatexc.org

10. Privacy

Our Privacy Notice can be found here

11. Our Funding Partners 


climateXchange is the inaugural initiative of Syli, a non-for-profit community interest organisation. We are gratefully supported by our generous funders and ask our members not reference any cXc or Syli patrons unless a request for use or mention has been granted. Please contact our commutations team if you have any questions.

media guidelines

Using the contentXchange: Video and image formats

The contentXchange thrives on rich imagery, video and graphic content. These collectively form a repository of searchable assets that can be used to create striking content pieces. To work at their best, they need to be supplied in a format that is as versatile and as high quality as possible.  

Contributing images to the contentXchange

Images should be supplied at the highest resolution available; low-resolution, pixelated images or screengrabs are likely to be unsuitable.

Please note that for editorial reasons we do not accept images that have had the nature of their contents altered or manipulated beyond simple technical adjustments.  

A minimum resolution of 1280x720px is required. 1920x1080px is preferable.

Images can be supplied in the following formats:

  • .png
  • .jpg
  • .tiff

RAW formats are also acceptable, though may affect turnaround timeline.

ICO files cannot be used.

Important: Please ensure all rights are cleared for worldwide distribution and the appropriate credit supplied in the file’s metadata or filename. 

Contributing video to the contentXchange: 

If horizontal (landscape) in orientation the video must be a minimum of 1920x1080p. If vertical (portrait) a minimum of 1080x1920p.

Accepted formats:

  • H.264 (.MP4)
  • Apple ProRes formats
  • .mov
  • .mxf

WMV files cannot be used
Important: Please ensure all rights are cleared for worldwide distribution and the appropriate credit supplied in the file’s metadata or filename. 

Output formats

Assets are best created in either a 16 x 9 format (landscape, similar to a television) or a 9 x 16 format (portrait, like a smartphone). The optimal asset output will depend on the format of the source content and the intended use.

16×9 format

  • Ideal for storytelling or documentary work for viewing on a tablet, computer or TV
  • Suited to Facebook feed videos, YouTube and LinkedIn desktop formats
  • Minimum dimensions 1920×1080 (1080p)
  • Suitable for longer-form content
  • Optimal length: 1-5 minutes

9×16 format

  • Ideal for snapshot POV video, short explainers or slideshows for viewing on a smartphone
  • Suited to Instagram and Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts, TikTok and X mobile formats
  • Minimum dimensions 1080×1920 (1080p)
  • Suitable for short-form content or vlog
  • Optimal length: 1-3 minutes

Crediting sources

Due to the reciprocal, creator-first nature of climateXchange it is important that the sources of the material you use from the contentXchange are acknowledged with appropriate, legible prominence. 

Digital articles 

When republishing a text story, credit should be given to the author of the original story as a byline (jointly with a local journalist if the story has been modified) and at the footer of the story a line should acknowledge the original publishing outlet and climateXchange. For instance: This story was originally published on [outlet] and shared via climateXchange.

Images 

Please credit both the photographer and the source. climateXchange should be credited wherever possible. The preferred credit format is: photographer / source via climateXchange 

Video articles and assets 

When using content elements from multiple climateXchange partners, these sources must be credited clearly in the finished asset. This could be as the element appears in your production, or on the end card of your asset. For example: 

Social posts 

Please credit and/or tag the source of the story you use in your social post. This encourages sharing across the climateXchange network and gives credit to the creator. 

#climatexc hashtag

Whenever posting social content which has used climateXchange assets, please use the #climatexc hashtag. This allows us to track where our content is being used across social media and fosters global sharing opportunities within the network. 

Example social credit: Story by @outlet via #climatexc