Archive for 2013

Storified!:The fury of Yolanda/Haiynan .

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Typhoon Yolanda has caused so far more than 5,000 dead. The updated death toll shows that the number of victims has increased by around 1,000 casualties during this week.
Yolanda, named Haiyan internationally, struck Philippines two weeks ago and the tragedy still have its space in the news.

The BBC and the Time liveblogged the event, while Al Jazeera and, more consistently, the Filipino on-line magazine Rappler are still providing updates.
I have used Storify to cover the event after days from the event, using it to tell the story from the days before the impact, to the recent debate over climate change as a trigger. I wanted

Social media meet local journalism: two British news organisations examples

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The BBC wants to have a totally digital presence on events as they happen. The recent introduction of Local Live has this aim, using heavily social media and community management.
The experiment has been brought to life in three key cities, Derby, Birmingham and London and is just some months old. e hard. 
local project done by the other giant The Guardian was community-focused too, but it was stopped 2 years ago because financially unsustainable. 
The initiative has been presented to a Danish group of journalist. They comment: "Replicate it in our country would be hard. Social media are not used in journalism".

EU Agri-subsidies 2012: among millionaires and shadows

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Curious about "Who gets What" from the European agricultural subsidies in UK?
Among the millionaires 11 names are currently unknown for privacy reasons, two are aristocrat and five recipients got half of the fund entitled to market support.

Harvest the Harvesters!

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What does get more than 1/3 of the total European budget? Agriculture!
Despite the recent drop in the funds given to the fields, from the next year the Old continent's farmers will get about 39% of our money, which makes it one of the two sectors most funded by the Union (the other is the sustainable growth).

The group of activists and journalists behind the cross-country data journalism project, led by Brigitte Alfter and .....

How much waste do your city's businesses produce? My council doesn't know.

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If you reside in England and have the strange desire to know how much waste the businesses of your city produce, I am sorry but you cannot satisfy it. Indeed, few data are published or even collected about the production, recycling or landfilling of local commercial waste.

This discovery came one month ago when I wrote an article for the Birmingham Mail about the low recycling rates of the city in comparison with the rest of the West Midlands. In fact it has been revealed to be the area with the lowest level of material recycled (almost 30%) of the region.

During the process of the study of every local authority data on waste in England, I stumbled on an interpretation issue of the figures provided by Defra (the English Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affair). In fact

Footprinted! Can we really know how sustainable are our goods?

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                                    "Why all these chemicals? To do a laundry
                                        we used just hash!", my grandmother
What's the difference between a synthetic cosmetic and a natural one, perhaps homemade, in terms of sustainability? Is the laundry detergent that I have just bought more eco-friendly then a homemade one (for a great and cheap recipe read this post).

My curiosity has led me to search for answers to these questions. Surely almost all of us are sure that a less usage of synthetic compounds is good for the environment (and therefore for us), but what I was looking for was numbers that could confirm it.
Or some way to measure the sustainability of a product.
However, this time Google was unable ....