Recently, we published a new study on Initiative for Policy Dialogue‘s site called “There Will be Ink: A Study of Journalism Training and the Extractive Industries in Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda“.
The backstory is this. I spent the last year at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs researching extractive industry journalism (oil, gas, mining) in Nigeria, working closely with Acting Director of International Media, Advocacy, and Communications Specialization, Anya Schiffrin. As part of this research, I spoke with Nigerian journalists and experts on media and development in Nigeria. These interviews focused on the challenges journalists face in covering oil and monitoring government revenues from this industry, and what is needed to overcome these challenges. Of course, this is an extremely important issue in Nigeria, given that oil revenues comprise the lion’s share of government income, and therefore play an important role in paying for government expenditure on infrastructure and services. And, Nigerian oil is rife with corruption, secrecy, and violence. The effect is that the money from this resource often goes into the pockets of the privileged and the powerful, rather than funding development that could overcome rampant poverty in Africa’s most populous. When people talk about countries experiencing a resource curse, Nigeria is very much drinking martinis at that party. Read the rest of this entry ?