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Crafting Inspirational Stories through #CeritaKita

By Fitri Nur Avivah (Communications Intern)

As a part of WRI Indonesia’s communication team, finding new creative ideas has been a challenge for me, especially in the middle of this pandemic. Working from home, we can’t be on the field to get fresh ideas. For me though, this has been an interesting challenge. I’ve been able to explore more creative ideas to be published on several of WRI Indonesia’s digital platforms.

Cerita Kita is my idea for a content segment on WRI Indonesia’s Instagram. I was inspired by Humans of New Yorks, which tells the stories of people from different backgrounds with different perspectives. Looking around, I see many people taking actions for the earth. So I came up with idea to give their perspective a platform through this content.

A Challenging Process

Compiling these interviews into an interesting story is a long process with many steps. First I had to collect qualitative data and decide on the story’s perspective. This was where my communication skill came in, especially to come up with writings and contents that would fit the audiences of WRI Indonesia.

After I collected enough data and had a strong initial idea, I began contacting sources through direct message (DM) on Instagram, email or their personal contacts based on information from WRI Indonesia’s researchers. Contacting the sources came with its own challenge, from finding the right words, setting up a schedule for the interview to technical challenges such as Internet problems.

In the middle of this pandemic, direct interaction with external parties in the process of content creation is limited to online. There are many problems that come with interacting with sources online, such as signal problems or inadequate communication device. This was especially true since the sources I interviewed didn’t just come from the big cities, but also the more rural areas.

Other than the technical issues, I also learned to pay attention to the sources’ perspective when interviewing them. Before the interviews, I conducted a mini research to learn about their backgrounds and to see if the topic fit them. I then compiled a list of questions on the topic and asked WRI Indonesia’s researchers for input and feedback on the storyline or the topic. I tried to keep the interviews with the sources fun and personal to get a different perspective on the story.

When creating a story out of the interviews, I had to pay attention to language structure, point of view and the overall context of the writing to ensure that the final story is impactful for the audience.

Another challenge in compiling contents for #CeritaKita was discrepancy between information from the sources and the existing data. That became a problem during data processing. In this case, coordination and discussion with the experts at WRI Indonesia were key in developing factual contents. For me, this was also an opportunity to collaborate with researchers and experts in different fields. Collaboration was also key in the development of every content or writing at WRI Indonesia. Not only did it make compiling the materials and stories easier, but it also exposed me to a lot of new things and gave me a chance to expand my network with the team at WRI Indonesia and the sources I interviewed.

<p>Here are a few of the stories published on WRI Indonesia’s Instagram.</p>

Here are a few of the stories published on WRI Indonesia’s Instagram.

At the writing of this piece, #CeritaKita has told the story of seven sources, from an environmental activist in Aceh, a coffee farmer and customary forest community in Sumatra, an oil palm farmer in Riau, a young environmental activist to founders of social food movements such as Foodbank of Indonesia, Pesantren Ekologi and Surplus Indonesia. In the process of creating these contents, I gained new perspectives and knowledge from each interviewee. I was exposed to the different perspectives of different people on their relationship with and concern for nature.

A quote from Farwiza (forest conservationist), “Understand that everyone has the same responsibility to protect the earth,” made me realize that environmental activists are not the only ones responsible to take action for the environment. Everyone has the same responsibility. No matter how small, every positive action we take for the earth will have huge impact in the future. I hope that this great opportunity that WRI Indonesia has given to me through #CeritaKita can inspire. I hope that #CeritaKita can educate and help people realize that humans and the earth are intertwined and that we must maintain the balance between the two to secure a better future.

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