PMA has partnered with Orb Media to provide its members with free, high-quality content on sustainability issues worldwide.

From the impact of microplastic contamination in our food to rising sea levels, research journalism non-profit Orb Media specialise in transforming global, long-term social and environmental challenges into locally actionable information.

Through their network of international journalists, data analysts and researchers, Orb strive to produce rigorous, collaborative and engaging content about sustainability issues worldwide. This content is then made available to newsrooms in adaptable and easily integrated formats so that outlets can customise and contextualise topics to fit with local issues and audiences.

The content is accessible via a free subscription and includes components such as comprehensive reports, graphics, suggested leads and angles, data models and key quotes for journalists to use in their own coverage.

“We work as an extension to many newsrooms at once”

“Orb Media is a service and a tool to make sustainability easier and more effective to report on”, CEO Victoria Fine told PMA. “We work as an extension to many newsrooms at once: shouldering the load of original global research and data work, as well as supporting partners one-on-one as they customize those findings for their locality.”

Ultimately, Orb’s aim is to ensure that everyone can access high-quality information on the social and environmental issues that affect their futures.


Orb Media’s latest project is particularly apt. Since early 2020, their network of journalists has been investigating the essential role of community health workers (CHW) in solving some of the world’s most challenging public health crises – including COVID-19.

While their initial research focussed specifically on variations in child mortality data from 160 countries, they soon found a surprising link between seven countries – Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Honduras, Hungary, Mexico and Thailand:

“They were located in different regions, had different styles of government, and wide variations in national demographics. These countries also had different religions, income levels, and cultural traditions. Yet, all countries managed to achieve significant reductions in their child mortality rates without increasing their spending on formal medical systems from 2010 to 2019.”

The reason for their success? Orb’s detailed investigation revealed that all seven countries rely heavily on CHWs to ensure that vital health resources can reach those most in need. Orb now hopes that the subsequent research into the critical role of community health workers will be utilised by newsrooms around the world to explore how CHW might be best deployed and utilised elsewhere.

According to Fine, Orb plans to focus their work on the impact of COVID-19: “2020 has been a wildly difficult year for the media around the world. As such, we’re orienting all our work to help newsrooms have more impact with less. All our work this year will be focused on the changes and opportunities that COVID-19 brings to the sustainability of our social and environmental structures.”

How can newsrooms use this story?

This global investigation is designed to be a set of base resources for local reporting on the quality and equity of community healthcare systems. Orb’s research focuses on evidence-driven opportunities associated with the deployment of Community Health Workers.

By creating a constellation of reporting centred on community health and CHWs, media outlets can not only help improve public understanding of how equity and health works in their community but can also inspire new ideas for how CHW programs and other community driven solutions can be integrated now and in the future.

Orb Media has included an array of resources to support your reporting, including suggested angles to localize this original research.

There are dozens of ways to connect your local reporting to this global theme and support your community while it navigates the COVID-19 crisis.

This content is freely available for PMA members. More information can be found at the Orb Media website, while PMA members should contact PMA for access.

Orb Media

Header Image: Powerful & Proven. Credit: Orb Media