I have become a fan of the neo-tech journalism as practiced by tech blog, The Verge. It is a tech first outfit that does serious journalism on stories outside the technology just outside the sphere. Take this piece about the newly-discovered water source in Kenya:

Scientists in Kenya have discovered a massive underground reserve that could allow the drought-ravaged country to meet its water needs for the next 70 years. Discovered in the desert of Kenya’s Turkana region, the Lotikipi Basin Aquifer contains more than 200 billion cubic meters of fresh water, and is about the size of Rhode Island. All told, the region has at least 250 billion cubic meters of fresh water stored in underground reserves, which are replenished at a rate of 3.4 billion cubic meters per year. The discovery, first reported by ITV News, will be officially announced Wednesday by the Kenyan government and UNESCO, which helped realize the project with funding from the Japanese government.

For them to reach out and do a story on a newly discovered underground water source in Lotikipi, Kenya and the technology that helped find it is impressive. For them to lead with a poverty porn photo is rather disappointing. I suppose you can break new journalistic ground, but you can’t break bad habits easily.

via Massive underground water reserve discovered in drought-stricken Kenya | The Verge.

  1. I have seen this story posted in several media outlets. Either North American (assuming they were American), African (KTN, as well as one other), as well as European. None of them used an image like that. The image that I saw, and it was used more than once, was a landscape shot of the area in question. No people. Regretful this publication went in that direction.

    • I really like The Verge’s long reads. They really have some great writers on staff. They need better, sensitive, editors. It’s an unfortunate oversight.

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