Thursday, April 1, 2010

Going to war with unsanitary water

Go to your faucet; run water into your cup, or buy a bottled water; untwist the cap. Gulp, gulp, and gulp.

Nothing quenches thirst like fresh, cold water. While first world dwellers are able to share this common experience, one billion people are living with contaminated drinking water which kills more inhabitants than war.

March 22, 2010 marked “World Water Day,” an initiative started by United Nations in 1994 “to celebrate freshwater” and to raise awareness for poor and third world dwellers who are forced to use and drink bacteria infested water. Group Launch is working three initiatives to deliver drinkable water. The article appeared in Fast Company, an online magazine.

I glanced at several water day articles, and I decided on “World Water Day 2010: Three Projects That Are Changing the Future” because of “packaging." Naturally, stark realities about contaminated drinking water capture audience’s attention. Also the subject is not commonly reported, and since the day appears once a year, many news outlets will observe it. As an editor, I would especially focus on packaging so readers would stop and read my medium over others.

In addition to reporting compelling statistics and innovative water quality programs, Fast Company features a picture of a child using contaminated water and pictures of clean water programs. I especially liked the two You Tube videos that demonstrate a filtration system and one that features the impact of clean drinking water at an orphanage. The videos are short, something that provides an extra incentive to stop, read the article and watch the media.

Overall, this article provides a good example of capturing readers' attention through visuals or cross media. The written angle is one aspect, but readers will probably look at visuals first when deciding to read an article. Different sources are reporting this important subject, so visuals' worth cannot be underestimated.

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