Covering Environmental Issues by Using Scientific and Data-driven Techniques

Heinrich Boell Stiftung South Caucasus Office Yerevan Branch in cooperation with “Investigative Journalists” NGO (“” online media outlet) launches a new project called Covering Environmental Issues by Using Scientific and Data-driven Techniques.

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The project is a model of journalism and environmental science collaboration. The main goal of the project is to implement an independent journalistic and scientific-based investigation in order to find out the main reasons of Sevan blooming (it is the largest freshwater lake of the South Caucasus region). Four possible reasons are mentioned for this issue by the scientists from the Institute of Hydroecology and Ichthyology of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. The project will analyze one of them: the waste runoff into the lake. The project members will take samples from the two points of each river: the estuary and the upstream. The process of analysis will follow.

Project activities:

  • Two student journalists and two professional journalists will learn sampling and research methods to produce science-based journalistic product.
  • The above-mentioned participants and photo/videographer will travel to do fieldwork.
  • While waiting for results to be ready the team will work on texts and interviews.
  • The team will decide how to represent the results to the public with the help of the scientists.
  • To sum up, a long-read, data-driven interactive investigative story will be published showing the water quality spilling into Sevan Lake and deeply analyzing one of the possible reasons of Sevan algae blooming.

As a result, the project will raise awareness about the pollution of Lake Sevan targeting not only concerned citizens, but also respective state institutions and decision makers who seek ways of saving Sevan’s environmental stability.

The project will last two months (September 15, 2020 – November 15, 2020).