“Adaptation” is a multimedia journalistic project (web doc), focused on the coexistence between man and its ecosystem in the era of climate change. It will be also published as photo-journalistic reportage by several mainstream European media outlets (i.e. GEO, Illustreret Videnskab, Internazionale etc.)
The aim is to describe how humanity (in some target-countries: The Netherland, Italy, Israel, USA, Canada & Alaska, Ethiopia, Bangladesh) is adapting to the different and already existing effects of the increase in the average global temperature, such as the melting of ice and the devastating droughts, or flooding risks and wildfires, from a social and a technological point of view. “Adaptation” will be finalized into a web documentary which will include photos, videos and texts, together with a complex graphic layout.
The project aims at overcoming the classic concept of the video documentary on the web and the gallery-text style of online reportages. The idea is to use a homogenizing graphic layout connecting the different text, photo and video content, also involving technologically advanced solutions, such as geolocalisation, shooting with drones and 360° camera. A series of traditional photo and text reportages will be published in magazines alongside the web documentary.
The stories of the project will be a narration of the impact of climate change effects, such as wildfires, climate refugees, floods, food scarcity and droughts. They will be chosen on the basis of two criteria, the first being ‘technology’: how man is evolving innovative solutions to adapt, such as the construction of new dams and special techniques to cultivate deserts. The second component will be social, describing how man is changing its everyday life, and how societies are adapting to climate changes. All these stories will be described through photos, videos and interviews gathered on the field.
Objectives and beneficiaries
Such journalistic project aims at boosting communication on a very critical topic of the modern era: climate change adaptation. As a matter of fact, there are dramatic cultural differences among the world's countries and societies. Within such frame, adaptation comes up like one of the most debated argument which often slides toward a very disputed political issue. But, most of the time, broad public, as well as media outlets or politicians/stakeholders show no real understanding of adaptation issues as they don't have the right tools (much people still confuse mitigation policies with adaptation ones...).
A web doc focused on adaptation may raise awareness on a global scale and bring long-term benefits to a very large public. Even building confidence in the young people about upcoming opportunities related to jobs of the future.
Strong points of the solution
An innovative journalistic product like a web doc, aiming at educating but also entertaining (with 'wow' pictures, videos, animations, graphics...) may engage an all-ages audience and facilitates the release of key messages about climate change adaptation.
As a homage to 'constructive journalism' philosophy, we thus have built up our web doc with the objectives to inform and raise public awareness on the possibilities offered by the 'adaptation economy', instead of focusing on disasters as a result of the climate change.
Expected results and benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation
Thanks to ADAPTATION project we had the chance to get in touch with many important stakeholders: universities and research centers, Embassies, companies, city managers, NGO's, independent researchers. Besides making our journalistic work, we have built strong bridges between different players (at international level) and boosted debate on adaptation-related issues. We have participated in many events and public speakings all over Europe or have organized some by ourselves. We have connected people and also contributed to developing a new communication paradigm on adaptation issues.
As a result of this process, especially young people started following us and admitted they were very inspired by our ideas and contents. Furthermore, some of them, mostly undergraduates from various universities, made their dissertations on adaptation-related issues. We supported them from the first moment and we wish to bring them into the Adaptation project in the future, as junior communicators.
Scalability potential of the solution
ADAPTATION is quite a young project with a strong scalability potential.
The journalistic web doc has thus to be considered as the first step of a wider editorial strategy which will drive onto the creation of a more complex digital communication ecosystem featuring news about adaptation from different sources, all over the world. We wish to encourage the exchange of views and experiences, at different levels. Moreover, people from different parts of the world might find solutions to their problems or the right person (or entity) to address help requests through our platform.
Adaptation also means cooperation, while communication is a strategic catalyst of such liaison.
[Editor's Note: All information published as submitted by the author(s). Minor edits may have been made for length and clarity.]