On the morning of January 13, 2018, an inbound ballistic missile alert sounded across the U.S. state of Hawaii, reaching hundreds of thousands of citizens by television, radio, and mobile devices—and shared further on social media. The alert, declaring “THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” followed months of escalating nuclear threats between North Korea and the United States.

For 38 minutes that day, citizens tried to “seek immediate shelter” while also turning to emergency responders, government officials, news outlets, social media, and fellow citizens to verify the authenticity of the alert. Once the alert was declared a false alarm, the story quickly turned to how the mistake happened and how ill-prepared U.S. citizens were to respond to the possibility of a nuclear attack.

But this is only one piece of the story.


“Atomic Reporters and the Stanley Foundation will select 15 journalists from the U.S., Europe, and Asia to take part in a workshop in Honolulu, Hawaii from January 8-12, 2019, just ahead of the January 13 anniversary of the false alert.”

The program will cover all transport and subsistence costs of journalists participating in the workshop, including economy-class airfare, hotel accommodations, meals, and ground transportation. Additionally, costs associated with obtaining a visa to attend the workshop will be reimbursed.

To be eligible as a workshop participant, applicants must:

  • Be a working journalist, staff or freelance, from or representing an established media outlet based in Asia, Europe, or the U.S. In addition, one journalism student may be accepted to participate.
  • Be available to attend the workshop in Hawaii from January 8-12, 2019;
  • Commit to participating in all workshop activities;
  • Submit a story idea related to the workshop’s themes;
  • Provide a letter of support from an editor, producer, or supervisor who can confirm your track record in getting your material published; and
  • Be fluent in English.

Following the workshop, participating journalists will be offered the opportunity to apply for fellowships to pursue reporting investigating the intersection of emerging technologies and new dimensions of nuclear risk. Up to six fellowships will be awarded in early 2019.

The deadline for submitting applications is October 31st, 2018.

More information, and instructions on how to apply can be found on the website of Atomic Reporters.