Teacher's Kit for Interactive Journalism by Juliana Ruhfus

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download


Learn how to conduct an interactive investigation on environmental crimes. Recommended for journalism educators interested in fact-checking and verification practices. Based on the Pirate Fishing interactive investigation by Juliana Ruhfus at http://www.aljazeera.com/piratefishing


  • 1. TEACHERS KITLearnhowtoconductaninvestigativereportonenvironmentalcrimes30 sec promo on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEXbsfa26u4Link to game: www.aljazeera.com/piratefishing(Best use on desktop)

2. WHYANINVESTIGATIVEJOURNALISMGAME? Digital teaching techniques allow an immersive experience for students, learning in a way thatcannot be achieved in traditional studies, and adding fun to the classroom. The topic chosen forthis game is a report by journalist Juliana Ruhfus Pirate Fishing, for the Al Jazeera seriesPeople & Power, nominated for the Royal Television Society Awards. Being an investigative journalist or activist can be seen as quite a high-brow career. However,gamification can open these career choices to a new generation of digital-savvy buddingjournalists and environmental investigators. Journalism has changed in the digital age, and it is important to understand this through usingthe digital medium itself This tool allows a student to connect to global issues in a way they have not before.Environmental crime in Sierra Leone may at first seem remote, but the impact of world foodsourcing is an issue that affects everyone including consumers of illegal fish in developedcountries. 3. BACKGROUNDONILLEGALFISHINGThe precious marine resources of some of the world's poorest people are being targeted by industrial-scalepirate fishing operations, to feed the seafood hungry markets of Europe and Asia. The problem isparticularly acute in West African waters where fish is a vital - and often the only - protein source formillions of people.The importance of fishing for coastal communitiesFishing generates livelihoods for over 100 million people and represents a vital source of nutrition as theyprovide 16.6 percent of the world populations intake of animal protein. More than 90 percent of peopleemployed in the fisheries sector are small-scale fishers and fish farmers in the developing world. The vastmajority of these are in Africa and Asia where poverty among coastal and rural communities is oftenparticularly high. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates thataround 5.8 million fishers live in poverty, earning less than $1 per day.[1]What is pirate fishing?Generally, one can say that Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) or pirate fishing occurs whenvessels operate in violation of the law[2]. This could be for example when they are:i. Fishing without licenseii. Fishing in prohibited areasiii. Targeting protected speciesiv. Using forbidden fishing gearsThe problem with pirate fishingGlobal losses due to pirate fishing are estimated to be between US$10 billion and US$23.5 billion peryear, globally. West African waters are estimated to have the highest levels of IUU fishing in the world asa proportion of the regions total catch, with the illegal catch in the wider Eastern Central Atlanticestimated to be worth between US$828 million and US$1.6 billion per year, or 37 percent of seafoodcatches.[3] In a survey conducted by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) in Liberia, West Africa,all fishermen communities interviewed reported the presence of industrial trawlers in the InshoreExclusion Zone (IEZ) as one of the major issues they are facing.Pirate fishing vessels also compromise the health of fish stocks and the marine environment. Ninetypercent of vessels documented by EJF in West Africa are bottom trawlers, which drag heavy trawlequipment along the seabed, resulting in damage to the bottom habitat and high levels of by-catch,including vulnerable marine life such as sharks and turtles. By fishing in inshore areas reserved for localfishers, they displace artisanal fishers into riverine areas where fish breed, resulting in further damage tothe marine environment and the depletion of fish stocks.What can be done against pirate fishing? 4. Since 2009, the UK-based NGO Environmental Justice Foundation has worked with fishing communitiesin the Sherbro River area of Sierra Leone to document pirate fishing by foreign industrial vessels. InSierra Leone, EJFs community surveillance boat responds to calls from fishers and other communitymembers who witness pirate fishing. EJFs staff in Sierra Leone and Liberia take photos, video and GPScoordinates of offending vessels and submit evidence to the relevant authorities to ensure that thevessels are sanctioned and their catch is not exported to the worlds valuable seafood markets. Theinformation is also complemented and verified through the use of the satellite monitoring system AIS(Automatic Identification System).See EJFs campaigning goals here to know more about what states and fishing industries can do againstillegal fishing. See here what you can personally do to help ending pirate fishing.[1] Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in theContext of National Food Security, FAO, 2012.[2] Pirate Fishing Exposed: The Fight Against Illegal Fishing in West Africa and the EU, EJF 2012.[3] Agnew DJ, Pearce J, Pramod G, Peatman T, Watson R, et al., Estimating the Worldwide Extent ofIllegal Fishing (Marine Resources Action Group and University of British Columbia, 2009). 5. HOWTOUSETHEPIRATEFISHINGGAMEThe Pirate Fishing interactive investigation is accessible by desk top on this link:www.aljazeera.com/piratefishing/ The student becomes the junior journalist and must gather evidence on pirate fishing in SierraLeone. During the clips the evidence and information gathered by the team is highlighted. At the end ofeach clip it is presented on screen and the student will have to file it into the right section of his orher notebook to score points and advance his or her status to senior reporter. To differentiatebetween facts, background notes and criminal evidence are important to building a report that hasintegrity and is accepted by local and international authorities. By clicking on the map icon with the map students can watch extra clips that provide furthercontext to the investigation. By watching them students can earn further specialist badges andshare them via social media such as their Facebook page or twitter. Further instructions are provided through interactive screen displays during the digital projectFor a short intro clip watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEXbsfa26u4 6. ADDITIONALMATERIAL Watch the original documentary: In a special two-part investigation in February 2012, People &Power identified and expose some of those involved in the multi-million dollar trade and to look inparticular at its consequences for the impoverished West African nation of Sierra Leone.o Website: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2012/01/201212554311540797.htmlo Youtube links:Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKQ0rf06Jw4Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcXCvY6hnEE Further research assignments: Teachers may wish to assign students with further research onillegal fishing or other environmental crimes of their choice. Additional Music Video: Al Jazeera commissioned WayOut Arts in Sierra Leone to produce amusic video to build awareness about illegal fishing. Chanting Bee and KMill's song features atthe end of the web application, and is viewable hereThe song features at the end of the webapplication, and is viewable here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1YRakZZZaIo Teachers may wish to assign students a project to create their own awareness campaignfor an environmental issue of their choice, through music, social media (hashtagcampaigns, videos) or other communications channels 7. CREDITSANDCONTACTSAre you using the interactive investigation in your classroom?This is a first-time project and I would be really grateful for any comments, feedback andideas exchanges. Please contact me via http://www.julianaruhfus.com/ or on twitter@julianaruhfusAl Jazeera Media NetworkReporter: Juliana RuhfusWeb Producer: Elizabeth GormanInquiries to pressoffice@aljazeera.netAItera Studios, Rome, ItalyCreative Direction: Ivan Giordinohttp://www.alterastudio.it/Grain Media, LondonDirector/ Camera: Orlando von Einsiedelhttp://grainmedia.co.uk/Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF)www.ejfoundation.orgWAYout musiciansKmill and Chanting Bee website www.wayoutarts.org