Thursday, March 10, 2011

Disputed Waters is online!

    Today is online.

Today is online

Disputed Waters is a multi media project of a group of freelance photographers and journalists. We explore stories about transboundary rivers where water may become a source of conflict due to climate change and an increasing world population.

Disputed Waters is all about slow journalism. We take the time to produce in-depth stories, something that is getting more and more difficult in the current media where there’s less time, less editorial space and less money available. We decided to create our own The website has been designed and developed together with to experiment with formats and content types.

Why rivers?
We’re interested in what effects climate change and a growing world population will have on our globalised society. Many specialists predict that the wars of the future will be fought over water. Well, we believe that’s pretty likely. And rivers will play a big role in them because they’re often the most important water source for countries and they have to be shared. We’ll focus on the big geopolitical stories, but will also zoom in on the personal stories of how rivers impact the life of the common man.

The website is a work in progress. The first river, the Colorado, is mostly covered on the site, although we’ll keep adding more stories. We will visit the next river, the Nile, for the first time next week. We will publish updates during the trip on our blog, Twitter and Facebook page.

Publications in international media are used to cover some of the expenses of the project. This is not enough for this type of journalism, so we try to use alternative means of financing like crowdfunding and the sale of other publications.

Disputed Waters is initiated by photographers Ronald de Hommel and Johannes Abeling. Journalists Jeroen Kuiper and Olivier van Beemen have been involved from the beginning. Soon several colleagues will join us to cover the next rivers.
Ronald and Johannes won the second prize in the prestigious Dutch photo contest ‘de Zilveren Camera’ with one of the photo series from the project. See them on the site:

Features of the website:
-Visual navigation by scrolling around on an abstract map to find stories and images.
-The big story is told in a non-linear way through many different items that can be viewed in a random order.
-The site has space to experiment with video and webdocumentary. was designed to work with computers and iPads. Especially on touch screens the possibility to scroll around to follow the rivers gives a natural experience.
-The site has been built to exploit many of the new possibilities of HTML5. (Unfortunately older browsers like Internet Explorer may not perform perfectly).
-The site runs on the Wordpress Content Management System. The possibilities of this system have been stretched to the limits to give the makers the freedom to publish lots of different types of content on the interactive maps.
-Through our Facebook Page visitors can interact with the makers and suggest subjects. Also through crowdfunding, supporters can indicate a preference for specific rivers.

For more information about the project, or for the publication of stories contact Ronald de Hommel:
For publication of an announcement about Disputed Waters or a referral to our site we have some free images available.

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