RWI’s Media Program Expands to Tanzania

Tanzanian participants brainstorm to come up with talking points on extractives. (Photo: Kelvin Malizani)
Country: Tanzania
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In 2011, Revenue Watch welcomed its first batch of African journalists to partake in its Media Training program. Forty-five reporters from Ghana and Uganda have graduated from the program over the last two years, and this year their Tanzanian counterparts will join them in strengthening their reporting of the oil, gas and mining industry.

Earlier this week in Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam, RWI met with the program’s beneficiaries and national and international partners to review progress, share training materials and plan for the future.

The first matter of business was to review and process the experiences of the media program thus far. Thanks to their training, participants have polished their reporting and investigative skills, gained access to industry experts and built a support system of mentors and fellow journalists. Many of our Ugandan alums were even awarded journalism prizes earlier this year.

On the second day, a workshop provided Tanzanian organizers with teaching ideas to broaden the expertise of experienced journalists. One of the main outcomes of the media program has been the development of a comprehensive curriculum and manual for teaching coverage of oil, gas and mining issues. The manual includes basic journalism modules that can be updated in real time, handouts and tips on teaching techniques, and guidelines on all aspects of course logistics. With this manual, we hope that RWI’s current and future partners, along with other organizers in Africa and elsewhere, will be able to plan, deliver, monitor and evaluate future media trainings.

During the last two years, RWI also introduced media training to journalists in Guinea through a partnership with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa. RWI also collaborated with the Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reforms in Nigeria to train journalists to understand and report critically about the country’s crude oil business.

By the end the program’s pilot phase last December, there was a 182 percent increase in the total number of extractive stories produced by all participating journalists, according to the independent evaluator, Tom Olila. This performance level, he said, far exceeded the 25 percent benchmark that was set for the course. The journalists also rated the training highly, with 95 percent regarding their experience as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good.’

The program aims to not only help the media increase its coverage of extractive resources and revenues but also make that coverage more effective and consistent. With greater and better quality coverage, the media can contribute to improved use of oil, gas, and minerals and the revenues they generate for the public good in Africa.

George Lugalambi is RWI Media Capacity Development Program Officer.

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