Watchdog or Lapdog

Limits of African Media Coverage of the Extractive Sector - Working Paper #247

James Canonge, Matthew Purcell, Michael Behrman

Paper  1.55mb pdf

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the quality of African media coverage of the extractive industries. This sector plays prominently on the African political, economic, social and journalistic landscape, yet coverage of these industries remains a challenge for African journalists. The financial and technical aspects of the extractive sector are complex, and both governments and companies often have a vested interest in withholding information from journalists. Many reporters lack sufficient training, resources and/or journalistic freedom to publish accurate, well‐researched, in‐depth coverage. As a result, what are arguably some of the most critical industries on the continent operate in relative freedom from public scrutiny. By making a careful study of African media coverage of the extractive sector in three countries, this report hopes to identify key strengths and weaknesses in extractive industry reporting as well as opportunities for media support and the expansion or revision of current media training efforts.

About the Authors

James C. Canonge

Matthew Purcell

Michael Behrman

Publication Information

Type Working Paper
Program Journalism Backgrounders
Posted 06/29/10
Download 1.55mb pdf
# Pages 82