Entries tagged with “journalism”.

OK folks, I have never done plugs on the blog, but I am about to do one here.  A friend of mine from back in my Syracuse/Ph.D. fieldwork days named Keith Bratton is trying to get funding for a photodocumentary project that explores the complex impacts of climate change in coastal Ghana.  Keith knows this area well – he was there during my fieldwork (and took some of the photos of my site and artifacts that I still use to this day), and has been back since. He is a remarkable photographer – his previous work from Ghana is here.

The project he is trying to get funded seems to have emerged from a combination of his own experiences in Ghana and (in part) his reading of my book and its discussion of the complex ways in which the collapse of the Gulf of Guinea fishery is radiating into various onshore ecological and economic impacts.  Just as I wrote my book to reach a wider audience, Keith wants to do this project as another means of telling this story.  Not only do I think this work has the potential to be picked up by media outlets, I suspect that in telling the complex story of how climate change becomes a development challenge, there will be many in the donor and implementer world who might find this work, or versions of it, useful for training – something that I think is really critical if we are ever to mainstream thinking about climate change and its impacts into development.

He’s trying to do this on a shoestring – he wants to raise $4000.  The plane ticket will eat $1200 of it.  This is a huge bang-for-the-buck potential operation here, so if you can find a buck…or two, or ten, please think about pledging it to Keith and this project.

His kickstarter page is here.


Full disclosure: While I have offered Keith advice and feedback on the project, I am not a part of it, nor will I profit from it in any way.  Further, this project is not, in any way, connected to any of my employers.  It’s just a good idea that deserves support.

Blogger Ansel has written a wonderful post that will probably get attention for the pointed way in which it lays out the formulaic, and therefore ultimately useless, character of the vast majority of reporting on post-earthquake Haiti.  I find it interesting because it screams out for one of my pet projects – the need to connect the global poor to one another and to those in wealthier countries in an unfiltered manner.  Nearly-useless journalism is a huge problem if it is the only source of information emerging from a given place.  The impact of this same problematic journalism, however, can be greatly lessened by the presence of many voices reporting from many angles on the same subject.  At this time, despite the various platitudes about the wonders of mobile phone technology and the internet that are repeated in development circles, the enormous potential of these tools has yet to be realized.  We need to be more honest about this, lest it sound like the technology is there and the only problem is the backward people who won’t use it.

I wonder, though, how comfortable the development industry will be with the gradual, inevitable emergence of many voices through these technologies.  What will we do when the people in whose names we are ostensibly working start telling us no and begin to call out our failures – and do so in a public forum?