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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Zahra Salah Uddin
|Multimedia & Audience Engagement Editor||Gabriela Ramirez|
|Design & coding||Cecilia Palmer|
|Managing Directors||Julia Vernersson|