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Visiting Antarctica

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) considers requests from professional journalists to visit Antarctica during each field season to report on its research.

A limited number of print, radio, and television journalists visit British Antarctic Survey’s research stations during the austral summer. Visits usually last a minimum of two weeks at the Rothera Research station, but can be considerably longer if the visit incorporates time on ships or visits to Signy, Bird Island or Halley stations.

Planning Antarctic operations is complex; matching scientific requirements with limited logistics capabilities takes many months. Media bids are considered during the planning process and early submission of proposals is necessary. Some bids may be held over until future field seasons.

Application deadline:

Written requests for the 2015/16 season must be received by Wednesday 1st April 2015.

Applicants should be well respected in their field and have proven experience and skills to deliver the proposed product.

Journalists must supply evidence from editors of a firm commitment to publish or broadcast their proposed work from a publication or media outlet, on company letterhead. Requests will be reviewed by the BAS Board in July/August.

Proposals:

  • The proposal should clearly define its target audience. The Survey is interested in both qualitative and quantitative measurement of audiences. Broadcasters should indicate their proposals for repeats or secondary rights. Preference will be given to large, significant UK and world audiences. Those interested in producing feature films or general reporting about the Antarctic, travel, or logistics will not receive priority.
  • Proposals should demonstrate a good knowledge of BAS research and its operational environment. It should make effective use of the available logistics resources and BAS video resources.
  • Proposals should state the number of people in the reporting team. BAS operational and logistics commitments restrict the number of journalists, for example, a film crew of four is the maximum number.
  • Innovative suggestions on copyright of unused footage or the exchange of facilities such as duplicating or editing time will be given serious consideration.

Reporting plans:

Journalists are responsible for developing their own reporting plan in conjunction with the BAS Press, PR & Education Office. Journalists will not be able to pre-empt the publication of scientific papers in learned journals. Journalists who are selected are required to visit BAS for substantial background briefings before travelling to Antarctica.

Journalists’ expenses:

Reporters pay for their travel from UK to the Falkland Islands (arranged through BAS). A fee is payable to the Survey for the loan of cold weather clothing. BAS provides accommodation, transportation and food in Antarctica, without cost to journalists. In addition, reporters visit BAS at their own expense for pre-trip planning.

Medical:

Journalists will be required to undergo a comprehensive medical examination by their own doctor and at their own expense.

Completion of project:

On completion of the project media visitors will be required to deposit copies of the resulting material with BAS for its own educational purposes.

How to apply:

Interested journalists should call BAS as soon as possible to express initial interest in travelling to Antarctica. They should then outline their targeted proposal in a short, concise letter, preferably no longer than two pages. Send the letter and any supporting materials (such as press cuttings/radio or video tapes) to:

Paul Seagrove
PR and Communications Manager
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross
Madingley Road
Cambridge CB3 0ET