In spring 2022, Unbias the News started working on the Sinking Cities project; a global investigation that set out to determine how major cities are responding to imminent sea-level rise caused by climate change. We brought together local journalists from six cities, Alexandria, Dhaka, Dublin, Karachi, Lagos and Rotterdam, who worked together to investigate the preparedness in their cities and looked to expose not only failures but also possible innovations and solutions.

The Sinking Cities Project seeks to add more presence of local journalists to the global stage. There have been numerous award-winning stories done by legacy-media journalists traveling abroad to expose climate crises and disasters, but we set out to find out about what is happening, from local journalists who have full access to the local context and necessary background to explain the bigger picture to their public. We believe local journalists are best placed to identify actors and movements that can make changes, and to inform the public about the policies and individuals responsible for climate change preparations- or lack thereof. Unbias the News works to make sure that these stories get the attention they deserve both locally and globally, through re-publications in local media and with the help of our Indie Newsroom Alliance.

News outlets interested in re-publications are welcome to reach out to Ankita Anand: ankita@unbiasthenews.org.

Who tells climate change stories?

Just like journalism has a well-documented diversity problem, climate journalism has a diversity problem. When editors mainly trust people who look like themselves, went to the same schools, or have already published in big-name publications, we miss important stories by journalists who don’t meet these criteria. These biases tend to reproduce a view held by the most privileged in each society- a problem we already saw during coverage of the pandemic.

As Michelle García correctly argued in her article “The Media Isn’t Ready to Cover Climate Apartheid”,

“More than simply altering the practices of individual journalists or newsrooms, the threat of climate apartheid should challenge the news industry to confront a media worldview that, as we saw with the early pandemic coverage, too easily defaults to the perspective of an affluent, white citizen within a wealthy nation.”

During the Sinking Cities Project we offered training, networking, and editorial support from our international team of regional editors. And as part of our work principles, all journalists are compensated equally, regardless of their location.

Who is behind the Sinking Cities Project?

Unbias the News is a feminist cross-border newsroom run by Hostwriter, working towards a more equitable and inclusive world of journalism. We work to publish stories that diversify news narratives and challenge power imbalances and the status quo. We open up the field to emerging voices and local journalists who have not yet had the privilege to publish at big legacy outlets due to structural barriers or discrimination. Our work is grounded in principles  such as collaboration as a default, no parachute journalism and cross-border storytelling. Find out more in our editorial manifesto.
Hostwriter is the journalist network behind Unbias the News. Hostwriter is an award-winning online platform that helps journalists to easily collaborate across borders. With over 6400 journalists from 158 countries, we support members at all career levels to raise the quality of media coverage by providing local contacts around the globe. Journalists use Hostwriter and our forum HostWIRE to connect with colleagues across the world, to ask for advice and to share opportunities.
Contributing Journalists

Rehab Abdalmohsen​

Alexandria, Egypt

Rehab Abdalmohsen is an independent science journalist and water reporter whose work has appeared in: ScieDev.net, @NatureNews, the Niles magazine, among others.

Ope Adetayo

Lagos, Nigeria

Ope Adetayo is a freelance journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria. His works have appeared in Al Jazeera, The Guardian UK, Foreign Policy, Vice, The Africa Report, and African Arguments, among several others.
Photo of Shamsuddin Illius

Shamsuddin Illius

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Shamsuddin Illius is a print and online journalist specializing in climate change, environmental, refugees, and migration issues. His work has appeared in The Independent, The Business Standard, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and more.

Lois Kapila

Dublin, Ireland

Lois Kapila is an editor and reporter at Dublin Inquirer. In recent years, she has mainly covered the city’s affordable housing crisis but is now working to also build up coverage around climate change. In 2019, she was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism and Prix Europa’s European Journalist of the Year.

Zuza Nazaruk

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Zuza Nazaruk is a freelance journalist writing about environmental and social sustainability, migration, and public policy. Her work has been featured in Euronews Green, DutchNews, and Morocco World News.

Zuha Siddiqui

Karachi, Pakistan

Zuha Siddiqui is a journalist covering the environment, technology and human rights. Her reporting has been supported by fellowships from the South Asian Journalism Association and One World Media. In 2021, she was among the 10 journalists — from a pool of 200 from 55 countries — shortlisted for the Thomson Foundation’s Young Journalist Award.
Editor-In-Chief Tina Lee
Editors Ankita Anand
Mercy Abang
Purple Romero
Wafaa Albadry
Zahra Salah Uddin
Multimedia & Audience Engagement EditorGabriela Ramirez
IllustratorWalker Gawande
Design & codingCecilia Palmer
Managing DirectorsJulia Vernersson
Mercy Abang
The Sinking Cities Project was made in partnership with Dublin Inquirer. This investigation was developed with the support of Journalismfund.eu, European Cultural Foundation and the German Postcode Lottery. We are grateful for the institutional support of the Adessium Foundation, Luminate Group and the Media Democracy Foundation which made this work possible.

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