This innovative piece of journalism was devised and coordinated by Rhian Lubin and launched in August 2021.
Rhian used her journalistic skills to help 40 teenagers produce a unique series of reports which were beautifully designed using the Shorthand platform.
Over the past eight months she has worked sensitively and often in difficult circumstances with young adults in the Solomon Islands, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Nepal, Mongolia and Ecuador to tell their story from the climate frontlines.
The interactive Shorthand stories from the Solomon Islands, Nepal and Ecuador are particularly visually striking and convey complex climate issues in an engaging way to the reader as they scroll through. In the Solomon Islands, teenagers wrote how they are impacted by sea level rise. One particularly harrowing story from 15-year-old Jerma was about how her two disabled brothers drowned because the water is now reaching new heights around their home. Two other teens wrote a story about a disappearing Pacific island. Rhian secured before and after images of the island and designed the page so that when users scroll down on the Shorthand story, the island disappears. Similarly in Nepal, two teenagers interviewed Sherpas who scale Everest every year, including the current world record holder for most ascents of the mountain, Kami Rita Sherpa. They were talking about how fast the snow on Everest is melting, making their climbs all the more dangerous. Working with the Mirror's picture research team, Rhian used a 100-year-old image of Everest covered in snow and contrasted this with a 2019 photo from the same angle. Scrolling through on the Shorthand story, the snow disappears and the effects of the climate crisis are laid bare for the reader. The final Shorthand story was taken on dispatch to the Ecuadorian Amazon to produce a series of reports by two indigenous young people and then a separate feature by Rhian.
These were packaged together into one digital story and include stunning drone imagery by Mirror photographer Adam Gerrard.
Stories from the Amazon were about people power, specifically how young people mobilised and took on an energy giant to stop a dam from being installed on a sacred river which is the lifeline of the community.
Rhian's report focused on an indigenous community who use technology to monitor mining, logging and deforestation happening in their forest.
Climate change stories are challenging for engagement but by using the Shorthand platform to tell them visually, we found readers spent many minutes scrolling through.