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Resources for Journalists


Resources for Journalists

To: The Media Development Community within The Drum Beat network

Hi - I want to share with you the recent "Media Development - Resources for Journalists" issue of the Soul Beat Africa e-magasine. The full issue follows and it can also be accessed and reviewed at this link.. Please do review and provide your comments in this thread:

The Soul Beat Issue 227 - Media for Development - Resources for Journalists August 28 2013

From SOUL BEAT AFRICA - where communication and media are central to AFRICA's social and economic development In this issue of The Soul Beat:

  • MEDIA RESOURCES to report on tuberculosis, reproductive health, and disability...
  • GUIDES to report on science and agriculture...
  • RESOURCES for journalists reporting on elections, corruption, and governance...
  • MEDIA TOOLS to report on gender-based violence...
  • How to keep journalists and their information safe...

This edition of The Soul Beat offers a selection of resources from the Soul Beat Africa website that are designed for the media to improve reporting on social and development-related issues. The newsletter includes tools, handbooks, and guides for journalists reporting on health, governance, gender-based violence, and science, and also includes resources on how to keep journalists and their information safe.

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A Media Guide on Reporting Tuberculosis Research and Related Issues in Uganda [June, 2012]

This guide is designed to support the media in their role of social mobilisation, policy advocacy, awareness creation, and community engagement for tuberculosis (TB) management and control. It provides information on key and current TB research and related issues in Uganda, as well as guidance on the role the media can play in sharing and engaging voices of the public on these issues.

A Reporter's Guide to Maternal Health [May 2013]

This reporter's guide, published by Solutions Journalism Network and the Pulitzer Center, introduces journalists to potential solutions-oriented angles to maternal health stories. The Solutions Journalism Network works to support and legitimise the practice of solutions journalism: "rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems". They seek to help reporters examine not just what's wrong, but also to provide examples of innovators working toward solutions – focusing not just on what may be working (based on available evidence), but how and why it appears to be working, and alternatively, in what ways it may be falling short.

A Journalist's Guide to Sexual and Reproductive Health in East Africa [January, 2011]

By Deborah Mesce, Karin Ringheim, and Mia Foreman

Sexual and reproductive health encompasses health and well-being in matters related to sexual relations, pregnancies, and births. It deals with the most intimate and private aspects of people's lives, which can be difficult to write about and discuss publicly. As a result, the public often misunderstands many sexual and reproductive health matters. The media play a critical role in bringing sexual and reproductive health matters to the attention of people who can influence public health policies. This guide aims to help journalists educate the public and policymakers on these issues by bringing together the latest available data on sexual and reproductive health for seven East African countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Additional data are included for selected countries in western and southern Africa, including Ghana, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe.

Media Guidelines for the Portrayal of Disability [2010]

By Jeannette Sanchez

These International Labour Organization (ILO) Guidelines are intended to provide practical advice to the media on how to promote positive, inclusive images, and the fair and accurate portrayal of women and men with disabilities at all levels of the economy and society. They are intended for people working as editors, journalists, broadcasters, producers, programme makers, and presenters.

Journalism and Health in Uganda: Handbook [2010]

By Kakaire Kirunda, Christopher Conte, Vincent Akumu, Esther Nakkazi, Richard Hasunira, Evelyn Lirri, Emililo Ovuga, and Jennifer Bakwaya

Published by International Journalists' Network, this manual is designed to help journalists report on health issues in Uganda. The manual covers topics such as journalism and health in Uganda today, health policy reporting, corruption and waste in Uganda's health system, and reporting on medical science and research.



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How to Report Science in Local Languages [June, 2012]

By Bothina Osama

Noting that any journalist writing in a language other than English has to cope with much of their source information being in English, this guide provides tips on how to report science in local languages - from getting translations right to developing relationships with the experts who can help. While aimed at print journalists, the guide, produced by a science journalist, is meant to be relevant for anyone working in print, online, or broadcast media.

Making Sense (and Cents) of Food and Nature: A Media Guide to Covering Agro-ecology and Food Sovereignty [September, 2012]

By Jeff Rutherford

In preparation for the Earth Journalism Network (EJN) Fellowship Program to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress which took place in September 2012, journalism trainer Jeff Rutherford developed this media guide on agro-ecology and food sovereignty issues to help journalists in their efforts to cover these issues.



For more resources, please see the Materials section of the Community Radio themesite here:



Citizens, Media, and Good Governance: Guidelines for Journalists [2011]

By Nazeem Dramat and Alex Ball

Published by Inter Press Service Africa, this booklet is a resource guide for journalists working for newspapers and radio, and will also be of interest to civil society actors with an interest in development journalism. The booklet was produced as part of the Mwananchi Programme, which seeks to strengthen ordinary citizens' voices, and improve state accountability and responsiveness to citizens' interests in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Zambia.

Audio Guide on Media and Conflict Coverage [2013]

This audio guide, prepared by Radio for Peacebuilding Africa, is intended for journalists working in conflict and post-conflict areas for all types of media outlets and is designed to accompany the previously published "Sustainability for Community Radios" training modules. The audio guide is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the issue of reporting in conflict settings. It is structured around 3 main topics: conflict analysis; the roles of media professionals; and journalists' attitudes as agents of positive change. The guide offers a brief description of the importance and the essence of these three topics and offers practical examples and sample questions that journalists and producers can reflect upon and integrate in their work.

Who's Running the Company? A Guide to Reporting on Corporate Governance [2013]

This guide offering tips on corporate governance is designed for reporters and editors who already have some experience covering business and finance. The goal is to help journalists develop stories that examine how a company is governed and spot events that may have serious consequences for the company’s survival, shareholders, and stakeholders. It is from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Global Corporate Governance Forum and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).

Investigating Corruption in Malawi - Training Resources for Journalists [2012]

In March 2012, Transparency International (TI) together with the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in South Africa, and the Malawi Economic Justice Network held a five-day training on investigating corruption for journalists in Malawi. The Training Resources are based on this training and include further contributions like excerpts from TI's Global Corruption Barometer findings in Southern Africa, an article on journalism and corruption in Malawi, an article on whistleblowing in Malawi, a step-by-step manual to story-based enquiries, a guide to reading budgets, and a case study on anti-corruption efforts in a public office in Blantyre, Malawi. The training resources are meant to inform and guide journalists and civil society in Malawi on how to investigate corruption following a story-based approach.

Because Accountability Counts: A Journalists’ Guide for Covering Post-elections [September, 2010]

by James Hottor

Produced as part of the Ghana Post-elections Intervention Project, this guide is designed to help empower journalists and other stakeholders with information and knowledge to hold elected officers accountable to their pre-election campaign promises. It was published by PenPlusBytes, the International Institute for Information Communication Technology (ICT) Journalism in Accra, Ghana, with the support of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa. The guide provides an overview of the post-elections landscape in Ghana, covering governance, legislative issues, political parties and their manifestos, the ruling party and opposition, governing after an election, and lessons to be learned from the 2007 Kenyan elections experience.

The Global Investigative Journalism Casebook [July, 2012]

Edited by Mark Lee Hunter

From the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), this casebook is designed to serve as a knowledge resource, providing a learning opportunity for journalists and media professionals, as well as for journalism trainers and educators. It will also be used by UNESCO field offices to conduct training courses in investigative reporting. It contains more than 20 investigative stories from around the world, covering a wide variety of topical subjects such as freedom of information, good governance, social and legal issues, the environment, health, and gender. Each article is accompanied by an explanation of how the authors conducted their research and wrote their pieces. Many of the authors belong to the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN).

Responsible Media Coverage of Elections: A Training Guide [October, 2011]

This guide, published by Radio for Peace Building Africa, is designed for journalists covering elections on the African continent, particularly in situations of extreme tension or post-conflict reconstruction. It was produced to encourage good journalistic practices before, during, and after elections in order to manage conflict that can arise during this transitional period. The guide gathers both theoretical aspects and more pragmatic elements, providing journalists with essential tools to cover elections responsibly.

Ten Practical Tips for Covering Development [2013]

By Edem Djokotoe

Published by International Center for Journalists, the document provides 10 tips from Edem Djokotoe, Knight International Journalism Fellow in Malawi in 2010 and 2011. Djokotoe's advice stresses less jargon and more people, impact, and original reporting. It reminds us that journalists are writing for ordinary people - not development "experts" - to show them the implications of the events unfolding around them.



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[16. Audio Guide: Gender-Based Violence Sensitive Reporting [2013]

This audio guide, published by Radio for Peacebuilding Africa, intends to serve as a guide for journalists and media professionals in producing more responsible programming on gender-based violence. It has been created to help journalists cover survivor stories in an appropriate and sensitive manner and serve the public without compromising survivors' rights. The guide is divided into two parts. The first part reviews and expands on the concept of gender, gender-based violence and the relationship between cultural context and violence against women. The second part proposes ethical, legal and professional considerations in order to assist journalists as they report on survivors and gender-based violence.](

[17. Reporting Gender Based Violence: A Handbook for Journalists [November, 2009]

Published by Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa, this handbook for reporters is designed to encourage and support sustained media coverage of gender-based violence (GBV) beyond the annual Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence campaign. The handbook is divided into twelve sections which each include an overview of a key issue, some facts and statistics, and a sample feature article to provide an example of best practice and/or what to consider when writing about GBV. The publication also includes discussion questions for facilitators who plan to use this handbook in training.](


[18. SpeakSafe: Media Workers’ Toolkit for Safer Online and Mobile Practices [November, 2012]

Edited by Manisha Aryal

This toolkit introduces reporters, journalists, bloggers, and media workers to practices meant to maintain control of their information and communications. It also introduces online resources where users can find additional information, tutorials, and software. This online resource is intended to be useful to the users working on personal computers, shared equipment (in a newsroom, cybercafé or press club), or working primarily on a smart phone.](

[19. Handbook for Journalists [April, 2013]

Reporters Without Borders, with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), has compiled and updated this book for journalists going to dangerous parts of the world, listing international norms for protecting themselves and containing advice on how to stay alive and safe. Topical questions include: What are the basic rules in a war zone? What are the first things to do when somebody is wounded? What protection does a journalist have in a war zone?](



For previous related Soul Beat e-newsletters, see:

The Soul Beat 214 - Radio for Development

The Soul Beat 199 - The Role of the Media in Promoting Democracy and Governance

To view all past editions of The Soul Beat e-newsletter, go to


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