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Water Reporting and Journalism

Water Reporting and Journalism

The way how a story about water related topics is told has a big influence on its impact. Whether you are a journalist who understands the need to cover water-related topics or a sanitation or water expert who believes in the importance of sharing information on water-related challenges and opportunities through media outlets: This toolbox provides you with answers to questions about the basics of print, online and broadcast journalism.

The toolbox builds on MiCT’s Shortcuts to Journalism (available in English and Arabic) and combines its easy to use tools with the relevant knowledge on sustainable sanitation and water management.

Basics on water related Journalism

What needs to be in place to tell a ground-breaking water story? Find out, which key challenges you should be aware of, how to find the right subject…
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Water Stories for Print Media

It does not take more than a text edit programme on your laptop to produce water stories for print media. This section presents a range of…
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Radio Stories on Water

Radio is highly topical, up-to date and continues to be a key channel to reach large audiences, inform them and influence their opinions on water…
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Reporting Water Stories on TV

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. We see this proven every day when we look at how television is influencing human behaviour…
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Online Journalism on Water

Online media are the most modern media. Today, they are attracting predominantly young people, but there is little doubt that in future, traditional…
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The Voicer with Audio / Feature

In this fact sheet you will find guidance on how to create a feature or voicer, which is a more comprehensive radio format. This format is conducive…

The Telephone Interview for Radio Broadcast

An interview helps to convey the voices of water sector stakeholder - ranging from users over service providers to decision-makers. A phone interview…

The Radio Lead-In

To achieve a meaningful impact with a water story on the radio, listeners need to pay attention. Here is where the lead-in to a broadcast item…

Writing Water Stories for the Internet

Is there a writing style that’s better for online?Every kind of journalism and every kind of writing style can be found online. That includes news…

Mobile Journalism: Photography

Mobile reporting has dramatically changed the face of journalism. Almost all smartphones now have both a camera and a microphone that allow the…

Mobile Journalism: Videos

In early 2012, a reporter from Al Jazeera sent footage he had filmed secretly in Syria back to the studio, and this material was some of the first…

Mobile Journalism: Audios

Reporters at the UK’s BBC broadcasting service were among the first to use smartphones to record material suitable for broadcast. BBC reporter…

Multimedia Storytelling for Water Reporting

A multimedia reportage is a new and modern way of digital storytelling. The best multimedia stories are multi-dimensional. By combining video, audio…

Social Media for Journalists

Social media websites like Twitter and Facebook have changed the way journalism works today.The border between media producers and their traditional…

Research on Water Topics using Social Media on the Internet

A lot of new information - pictures, writing and audio - comes through the various new forms of social media such as Facebook and Twitter.However,…

Water News Stories on TV

A TV news story on water is a short, accurate, factual report that is linked to water management, weather conditions, business or political or social…

The TV Report

A televised news item gives viewers information on current affairs through the use of a short film about the events in question. A TV report can tell…

The TV Talk Show

A TV talk show is a program that involves one or more guests and a moderator, and that is linked to water management, weather conditions, business or…

The TV Interview for Water Reporting

A TV interview is an interview that is broadcasted on television, with the aim of providing information to viewers linked to water and sanitation…

Access to relevant, balanced and reliable information about competing interests and causes for unsustainable water management is one key condition for fair decision-making on water allocation. It provides the foundation for objective negotiations and builds trust – two key conditions to move towards cooperation instead of conflict. And finally access to information facilitates transparency and accountability in water management.

Journalists and the media have a mandate to inform the public about developments in the water sector that will have an impact on citizens. At the same time, media are sufficiently neutral to scrutinize decisions, highlight governance challenges and raise concerns about conflicts of interests over contested water resources. Hence, media could play a vital role for the improvement of water reporting and ultimately water governance in several respects:

  • Agenda-setting: By focusing attention and public debates on the reasons for water scarcity and water pollution, media can urge policy makers to include related issues on their agenda.

  • Watchdog function: As the ‘Fourth Estate’, journalists have the mandate to scrutinize the powerful and conduct in-depth investigations wherever public goods are affected. Media coverage can help to reveal cases of abuse and hold those responsible to account. In the long term, investigative journalism can help to decrease corruption and foster good governance in general.

  • Awareness-raising: To enable meaningful public contributions towards sustainable water management, it is essential to create awareness and establish a sufficient understanding of water-related challenges and decision-making processes.

  • Empowerment and encouragement: Increased coverage of water issues can embolden residents – encouraging them to question decision makers and demand action. Here the role of socially responsible media must be to provide access for these residents and to amplify the voices of those affected by water scarcity and water pollution.

Journalists can tell stories that resonate with the public and access channels that convey information to a broad audience. However, the complexity of water governance and the multitude of underlying reasons for water-related challenges need to be duly understood to convey the right messages that contribute to more sustainable water management. If engaged effectively, the media can create new pathways to effectively disseminate water news, facts, and community perspectives.

Against this background the Middle East Water Reporting toolbox provides tools to foster water related journalism as a key means to inform water sector stakeholders about challenges and opportunities in sanitation and water management.

The toolbox has been developed under the framework of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s (SDC) ‘Blue Peace Middle East Initiative’. The Blue Peace Initiative builds on the assumption that countries that jointly manage shared water resources do not start wars with one another. Encouraging water-reporting by journalists complements and supports the efforts to build peace in the Middle East through water diplomacy in two ways. First, it makes information on water challenges accessible, increasing awareness for more sustainable water management and providing a level playing field for better water-related negotiation. Second, it raises awareness about solutions to water challenges in the region, facilitating replications of successful initiatives and making a common vision for the future more tangible.

Edited & Reviewed by:

Franka Voss, seecon GmbH

Dirk Spilker, MiCT

Christoph Sodemann, Borda

Janek Hermann-Friede, seecon GmbH


Funding Partners

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

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Created by

seecon international gmbh
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Media in Transition and Cooperation (MiCT)
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