Good governance of oil, gas and mining (extractive) resources and revenues requires effective oversight. A knowledgeable and active media is critical to having an informed and engaged public, civil society and parliament that can hold government to account.
However, in many resource-rich countries, journalists often lack knowledge and skills in investigating extractives-related issues. Many also face challenges due to a lack of resources for investigative journalism and payment by concerned parties to write on a particular subject that undermine the independence of the reports. Revenue Watch Institute’s (RWI) scoping of media capacity building in Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria found that investments in training for journalists has only generated limited improvement in economic and business reporting and had almost no impact with regard to extractives and their governance. Capacity building for journalists has been largely in the form of short-term workshops with little follow-up support or monitoring and evaluation; it appears that the impact on reporting has been equally short-term.
In light of the situation, RWI working with Penplusbytes(Ghana) and African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME)-Uganda are currently implementing “Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sectors – Pilot Program Ghana and Uganda”
Major project activities are
• A one-off training the trainer course
• Development and implementation of Core Courses
• Mentoring programme
• Financial support for focused stories Financial support will enable journalistic freedom to pursue extractive stories and provide profile and publicity for extractives journalism. This will occur through:
a. Travel/writing scholarships –
b. Prize for best pieces on extractive governance