Coronavirus & the Environment – VICE World News

Country/area: United Kingdom

Organisation: VICE

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 22 Apr 2020

Credit: Sabrina Faramarzi

Project description:

This is a data journalism news piece I wrote for VICE World News quite early on in the first lockdown, exploring the intersection of climate change and coronavirus. To me, this was an important piece to do, as climate change was quickly losing it’s lead in the news to the virus. Unfortunately, the next big global catastrophe will be due to climate change, and coronavirus has only made that worse. The piece explores different ways that lockdown affected the climate – both good and bad – and explains the data to a young audience. This piece is part of a

Impact reached:

After producing this piece, I was asked to appear on several radio shows and podcasts discussing the environmental impact of coronavirus. Later, VICE also republished it in other languages. 

Techniques/technologies used:

Google Sheets; Microsoft Excel; Google Co Lab; Python; Adobe Illustrator 

What was the hardest part of this project?

Interpreting NASA satellite data! I realised, in this case, it didn’t matter that the reader needed to be able to read it – rather, that they just needed to see the comparison to the year before to understand it. I believe most problems can be overcome by centring your audience and asking – what is the important thing for the reader to understand?

What can others learn from this project?

How to make your case by looking in other places. For example, office buildings contribute hugely to greenhouse gas emissions, and so the case for people working at home isn’t just a social one – but an environmental one, too. 

Project links: