What freelance writers can learn from Cape Town’s Day Zero

What freelance writers can learn from Cape Town’s Day Zero

As a freelance journalist based in Cape Town, South Africa, the full meaning and impact of Day Zero is revealing itself both incredibly fast (what about this? and that! and the other?!) as well as incredibly slowly (such as the city’s non-release of details about logistics, or queuing for water).

What is Day Zero?

In short, the massive drought and decreased water supply means that household water use is expected to end April 12. After Day Zero, residents will have to collect their allocated 25 liters per person per day from one of 200 distribution points.

The implications of this on nearly every facet of life in a major city resonates around the world. Has your city made contingency plans for extreme weather events–if not drought, then flooding or prolonged low temperatures?

Freelance writers far away from South Africa can learn from Day Zero too

If you’re a freelance journalist in Cape Town, you’re already well aware of the mass of contradictions surrounding the water crisis. The video lesson below uses Day Zero as a case study for understanding how to find stories that are building in your area and how to find and develop new angles–even if you’re 5,000 or 10,000 miles away.

Click the video to watch:

Check out the rest of the Modern Journalist Toolkit series.


Once you have a good angle, want to know how to pitch it? If you want my blueprint for writing queries that editors find irresistible, download a copy of the free eguide, “5 Proven Steps to Writing Queries that Sell.”

5 Steps to Writing Queries that Sell - button

Leave a Reply