Water cycle, meet media cycle

By Daniel Collins 28/09/2009 1

Hydromediacycle2Hydrologists and journalists have a lot in common*. They both deal with highly polarising material. They are both drawn to watershed events. And their best stories are never dry. If you have any doubts, just look at the media cycle outlined here: transpiration, condensation, precipitation, infiltration. This coupled cycle could even be seen in real time, as played out in the media back in June.

But more recent research at the interface of hydrology and mass communication — popularly referred to as hydrojournalism — has shown that even this 4-step cycle is too simplistic. After ideas infiltrate society, they diffuse through underground networks, often returning to the light of day through grassroots movements, and in very tense circumstances. When ill-informed, they have the potential to displace more sensible exchanges on the matter. But when well-informed, they can offer truly deep insights.

It is with these observations in mind that Crikey Creek was born: to offer a more hydrologically based conversation of today’s water resource issues; to highlight the human interest stories behind the national interest science; and to operate at the interface of the two cycles. Hydrology is a fascinating, interdisciplinary science. It appeals to the curious and the problem-solvers. So if you’re curious or a problem-solver, stick around.

*Earlier research on hydrojournalism may be found here.