Reporting on Water as a Global Story

Marsden, William
March 2005
Nieman Reports;Spring2005, Vol. 59 Issue 1, p43
This article presents information on the multimedia reports produced by a network of international journalists concerning water privatization as of March 2005. In 1997, the founders of The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) assembled an international network of investigative journalists from about 45 countries and created The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). When dealing with such a large multimedia and global project, it is crucial--when trying to organize the work of 15 journalists throughout the world--to embark with a crystal clear and agreed-upon focus. To achieve this kind of clarity, the theme of ICIJ had to be contained in a single word and line. Given that the United Nations had set millennium goals for delivering clean water to the world's population and the World Bank and International Monetary Fund had devised the financial means to do this, they also knew that major global corporations would control the utilities and supply the expertise. So the word they focused the journalists' attention on was privatization. While each country told a unique part of this story, what these journalists learned gave the project the ability to report on a global pattern, devised by the World Bank and its corporate partners.


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