Covering Oil

A Reporter's Guide to Energy and Development

Anya Schiffrin (Editor), Svetlana Tsalik (Editor)

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For the vast majority of people in most resource-rich countries, natural wealth does not translate into prosperity, but instead leads to environmental and economic devastation, and hampers democratic reform.

Only an informed public can hold leaders to account. Yet local reporting often overlooks the legal, economic, and environmental implications of resource extraction. Covering Oil: A Reporter's Guide to Energy and Development, a collaborative work of the Open Society Institute's Revenue Watch program and the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, aims to encourage rigorous reporting on these issues by providing practical information about the petroleum industry and the impact of resource wealth on a producing country.

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ISBN13: 978-1891385452
ISBN10: 1891385453

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"Journalists can play a crucial role in educating people in resource-rich countries on how the petroleum industry affects their lives," said Julie McCarthy, the acting director of Revenue Watch. "But those reporters need access to information in order to know what questions to ask."

The guidebook comes out of a series of organized workshops for journalists in the oil-exporting countries of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Nigeria, during which participants expressed a need for more information to help them understand the issues surrounding resource exploitation. In response to these consultative workshops, Covering Oil outlines the fundamentals of petroleum contracts, provides a glossary of relevant economic theory, and presents case studies of major public policy issues.

Covering Oil is the second in a series of Revenue Watch guidebooks targeting different audiences involved in the promotion of transparency and democratic accountability. The first, Follow the Money: A Guide to Monitoring Budgets and Oil and Gas Revenues, was aimed at nongovernmental organizations.

About the Editors

Anya Schiffrin
Co-Director, Media Program
School of International and Public Affairs
Columbia University

Anya Schiffrin teaches at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. She spent ten years working overseas as a journalist in Europe and Asia, writing for a number of different magazines and newspapers. She was bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires in Amsterdam and Hanoi and wrote regularly for the Wall Street Journal. She was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1999-2000 and then a senior writer at the Industry Standard, covering banking and finance.

Svetlana Tsalik
Revenue Watch
Open Society Institute

Svetlana Tsalik is the Director of Revenue Watch at the Open Society Institute.

About the Authors

John Roberts
Energy Security Specialist

Jenik Radon
Adjunct Professor
School of International and Public Affairs
Columbia University

Katherine Stephan
Freelance Journalist

Randall Dodd
Financial Policy Forum

Joseph Stiglitz
Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)

Joseph E. Stiglitz is President of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, and Chairman of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. He is University Professor at Columbia, teaching in its Economics Department, its Business School, and its School of International and Public Affairs. He chaired the UN Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, created in the aftermath of the financial crisis by the President of the General Assembly. He is former Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank and Chairman of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2001.

Terry Lynn Karl
Kimball University Fellow and Professor of Political Science
Stanford University

David Waskow
Climate Change Program
Oxfam America

Carol Welch
Program Officer, Policy & Advocacy Team
Global Development Program
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Book Sample  1.05mb pdf


Making Natural Resources into a Blessing rather than a Curse



Understanding the Resource Curse



A Primer on Oil



Oil Companies and the International Oil Market



The ABCs of Petroleum Contracts: License-Concession Agreements, Joint Ventures, and Production-sharing Agreements



Protecting Developing Economies from Price Shocks



The Environmental, Social, and Human Rights Impacts of Oil Development




Publication Information

Type Book
Program -
Posted 07/01/05
Download Not Available
# Pages 160
Publisher Open Society Institute
Year 2005