Our project is about pesticides, which is a topic that has received much attention in recent years and includes many interesting angles.
Our primary objective was to experience investigative journalism, and at the same time involve new digital tools and get to know them.
After two months, we could look back on an exciting course which has been very instructive and has motivated us to continue to explore new journalistic opportunities offered by the digital development.
People and technology
It quickly became clear to us that our project was a big challenge for the journalistic and technical level.
There were people and emotions involved in many of the stories we treated, and in the technical field we had started to learn new skills, which in many cases required more time than we had expected. In some cases, we had to compromise on our own ambitions to get the timing to succeed.
We knew that the subject has been described in a variety of media, both in digital and in print, and that we had to produce something special in order to stand out of the crowd. We clearly felt so, when we got started with our website.
After a reasonable start whith reasonable many likes, the website lost momentum. It seemed that we had reached the saturation point for how much more “eco-fabric” people wanted.
We therefore chose to focus more on the content of the articles, and we put more effort into looking for stories dealing with significant pesticide problems
We focused in on Roundup, the world’s best-selling pesticide, which is owned by Monsanto, a highly unpopular, multinational biotech firm due to its aggressive marketing. We got a good feel for the social relevance, and it created extra energy to dig into the writing process.
After some research, we found some good stories that we chose to focus on, and here was the art of sorting the minor stories, although they also were interesting.
We also managed to find a very interesting case, a Danish farmer who had gained international attention because of his fight against Roundup. Our project Gradually took form, and after two months of intense work, we were ready with more than ten articles, our own website and a lot of walking on the courage to continue writing about Roundup and other pesticides.