On the team's work and on things you need to know when preparing a multimedia product.
1. Location
So, we are all in self-isolation; each participant is in his or her own country. Participants are from different fields, all have their own vision of problems, each has their own skills. Nobody knows anyone. But everyone says they want to try their hand at climate journalism.
2. Like-minded people
Participants have the opportunity to propose their own topic and gather like-minded people around them. We create groups in messengers and social media where participants share their ideas and find "their people." The topic of air quality becomes interesting for five participants. Active correspondence and discussion begin.
3. Relevance
The group presents its topic, format, and structure of the material and delivers a presentation of the future project. The main thing is to convince the jury that the topic is relevant, feasible, and new.
4. Budget
The group works on the budget. Each country prepares their own estimate and quotes prices of various activities. The budget includes the following expenses: the fees of the coordinator, expert, photographer, videographer, translator, and designer and material promotion.
Maria Kolesnikova
5. Work plan
The group draws up a detailed work plan. Group members schedule their activities week by week. For self-discipline, they add weekly Zoom meetings to the plan for activity coordination.
6. Information
For the final material, it was decided to collect the following information: all materials that were written in each of the countries on air quality over the past five years; official data from open sources on air quality in each city; alternative data; interviews with experts; interviews with heroes.
7. Data processing
The work is based primarily on data: it is processed and packaged into a format that is convenient and understandable for the reader. Based on this data, the perspective becomes clear, and each participant in his or her country composes a plan for the conversation with an expert while keeping the main perspective in mind.
8. Search for a hero
The search for heroes is done through social media. Participants on their pages on social media talk about the topic of the material and invite the audience to speak.
9. Working with the hero
The work with the hero is about interviewing and observing. We record, photograph, film. We are trying to "hear" the hero, not pushing him or her to make certain statements. We work with the hero carefully. His or her story is important to us.
10. Cards
We leave everything that cannot be said in the material in plain text for the cards. The cards are designed as visual content, they can be shared or printed as bookmarks or invitations to environment-related events. We come up with the texts and pictures for the cards. We divide the cards into two groups. One group of cards is for those who make decisions; the second is for those who doubt their abilities and are not sure that anything depends on them. We prepare motivating texts.
Svetlana Kharitonova
11. Compilation
Putting together parts of the text from each country. Mercilessly cutting out a lot. We bring videos and photos to one style, edit our stories, select photos, take new photos. We re-edit the videos. Shorten the text and the videos again.
12. Checking the technical requirements
We go through the initial checklist. We go back to the requirements, where at an early stage, we even set the word count for the text.
13. Requirements
1. This is the list of requirements that was drawn up for the participants at the first stage of work; we go back to it every time:

  • Problem (one paragraph: not more than 100 words)
  • Background of the problem (2 paragraphs: not more than 200 words)
  • Hero (1 to 3) (not more than 400 words each)
  • Expert—comment / forecast (up to 100 words)
  • Open data on the topic (visualization)
  • The government's position (action / no action) (100 words)
  • The public's position (action / no action) (100 words)

  1. 1000-1200 words per country (that's two pages)
  2. Photos: 10 to 15 per country (closeups, long and medium shots)
  3. Video with the hero after editing (2 to 3 minutes)
  4. Data visualization (2 to 3 blocks)

This is all tentative. If a hero is eye-catching and there is something to convey in terms of content and images, this part can be expanded. You can start with the hero. You can finish with the hero. You can start with one hero and finish with another. We maintain gender balance and try to include people of different ages, different professions, social statuses, etc.

Talking about the quality of the air, we also talk about the philosophy of life in the region, trying to convey specific atmosphere, mood, and emotion.

The details are extremely important here!

Let's say we are talking about a strong personality; he says, "I am not complaining about anything, and I know that by joint efforts we can cope with the problem of air pollution," and at the same time, he coughs. Don't say that he is strong and optimistic. Show it with a detail.

Don't talk about your heroes; try to show them.
14. Last edits
Once again, we are editing the compiled text. We read together, read separately, introduce our corrections, questions, and comments in a shared folder.
15. Design
Thinking about the design of the material. We draw our vision by hand.
16. Emotions
We are angry with each other, we are disappointed in the initial idea, we do not get in touch.
17. Layout
We send the material to the designer and stop breathing.
18. Result
We check the material on the multimedia platform. We see an amazing job. We feel happiness. We make up and thank everyone for their comments and criticism.
19. Promotion
We begin to promote the material on social media. We share it with friends, respond to all comments, and accept criticism and congratulations.
20. Continuation
We are thinking about a new project.
Diana Svetlichnaya
project mentor
Maria Kazakova
design, layout
The project is implemented by n-ost (Germany) and the International Center for Journalism MediaNet (Kazakhstan) in partnership with the Center for Media Development (Kyrgyzstan), and the editorial offices of Anhor.uz (Uzbekistan) and Asia-Plus (Tajikistan), as well as the online magazine Vlast (Kazakhstan) with the support of the Federal Ministry of Economic

Cooperation and Development of Germany.
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