The Water Story is an evidence-based environment journalism project focusing on water. We work towards delivering positive social change in water security, though meaningful solutions-based and people-focussed cross disciplinary communication that brings together science, business and humanities. It builds on the idea that innovative, engaging and meaningful communication is central to positive social change and by extension water security.
We are committed to developing communications intelligence that stimulate public awareness on the global water crisis, by developing capacity among emerging journalists on how to tell compelling and engaging science and solutions-based narratives of hope and inspiration.
At its core the Water Story triangulates three key ideas – tangible communications outcomes through content production; the use of such content production in real and virtual learning and production spaces to facilitate water education; and the development of communications intelligence on how best to reach disparate and diverse audiences, to facilitate positive social change through a critical pedagogy of public education.
The Water Story based at Griffith University, Queensland Australia has worked with staff and students from the Mumbai University and Xavier’s Institute of Communication in Mumbai, India; Christ University Bengaluru, India; and the water experts from the Indian Institute of Science’s Divecha Centre for Climate Change and the Griffith based International Secretariat of the Sustainable Water Future Program, the Rivers Institute and the International Water Centre.
Dr Kasun Ubayasiri is a senior lecturer and Program Director of Journalism at Griffith University, Queensland Australia. He is a journalism ethicist and a former Sri Lankan and Australian journalist and documentary photographer. His research forces on the role of journalism in Human rights including environmental rights, news media in armed conflict, and media censorship and its impact on democratic accountability. Dr Ubayasiri is a member of the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research and co-author of Journalism for Social Change in Asia: Reporting Human Rights.
The Water Story Mumbai: The Griffith University-led the Water Story team partnered with Mumbai University’s Department of Communications and, Xavier’s Institute of Communication in Mumbai, India in January – February 2019.
The 13-strong Griffith University project team, supported by 20 Mumbai based local student journalists; produced a large volume of media content, including a 24-page booklet produce in-county in India over four weeks; an 84-page bilingual magazine in Hindi and English; a short documentary; and a website of long-form journalism. In addition, the project’s social media output has reached more than 10,000 viewers, and media produced by the Water Story team is being tweeted by the Australian Consul General in Mumbai. In addition, the Water Story featured in a special feature in the Sunday Mid-day [sic] newspaper which has a 200,000 circulation in Mumbai.
The Water Story Bengaluru,(and Tamil Nadu and Ladhak):In its second Indian tour, theGriffith University Water Story team of 11 partnered with International Secretariat of The Sustainable Water Future Program Christ University’s Department of Media Studies, the National School of Communication and Public Discourse, and the Indian Institute of Science’s Divecha Centre for Climate Change, in Bangalore, India in September – October 2019.
The project produced a 24-page booklet; 10 photo-essays including a number of in-country photographic exhibitions in Bangalore India; and four short documentaries and a conference inauguration video for the Water Future Conference in Bangalore, which has since been shown at the 2019 Budapest Water Summit in Hungary. A 68-page tri-lingual magazine in English, Hindi and Kannada.
The Water Story Kolkata: TheGriffith University-led the Water Story team will partner with Water Futures a leading university in Kolkata to explore the water crisis in greater West Bengal and by extent the Ganga-Brahmaputra Delta Basin in June 2020 – the project had to be postponed due to the COVID outbreak.
Funding: The project so far has been funded through a $79,200 Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) New Colombo Plan mobility grant and a $10,000 Griffith School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science ‘top-up’ grant. The DFAT grant funded the student mobility while the HLSS grant funded staff mobility and publications costs.