Media Course Manual and Modules for Reporting on Oil, Gas and Mining

The media has a key role to play in supporting good policies and building well governed societies that aspire to raise the living standards of their citizens. Through articles and radio or TV broadcasts, journalists can inform policy makers to make the right decisions, expose unethical and corrupt behavior, and inform citizens who will in turn exert pressure on decision makers and sanction poor performance at and between elections.

Journalists can fulfill their oversight role only through informed analysis and reporting, high-quality and thoughtful comment and investigative efforts. In turn, this requires good reporting skills, understanding technical issues and access to information and experts.

The manual for RWI’s media capacity building program on extractives consists of a standard curriculum that is adaptable to meet a variety of needs. These needs range from early- to mid-career specialized training for journalists to mainstreaming extractives into the curricula of journalism schools in universities and tertiary institutions. The training is designed for junior and mid career reporters and is based on two core courses: A and B.

Core Course A may run for up to 10 days and is typically referred to as the foundation course. It lays the foundation of key knowledge on extractive governance issues as well as basic analytical and journalism skills necessary for good coverage.

Core Course B may also run for up to 10 days and is typically referred to as the follow-up course. It allows the participants to deepen their knowledge of extractive issues and practice developing an investigative piece in their country context.

In both courses, each training day combines knowledge development with the opportunity to apply this knowledge to develop stories or programs. The courses also involve opportunities to meet and practice interviewing key sources and field trips to sites of extractive activities such as mines, oil/gas exploration or production facilities, and communities affected by these activities.

The manual is intended for trainers and only serves as a guide. The trainers should decide on the mix of sessions and materials, based on the expressed needs of the participants and the trainers' own knowledge and experience of their country and the profession of journalism.

The training is interactive and exploratory. It combines knowledge and skills sessions, presentations by experts, guest speakers, and field visits to encourage participants to research, report, and produce stories that increase accountability and transparency, and stimulate public debate.

The manual includes an overview of the course, learning objectives, workshop session designs, and tools to help trainers understand the interests and baseline knowledge and skills of participants.

The course content is contained in two sets of modules: one on essential industry knowledge and the other on basic reporting skills. Each module covers a specific topic and comprises a series of slides with information and notes for the trainer. These slides should not be used as handouts in the form in which they are. Trainers are advised to use the material in these slides to create handouts that are fit for the purpose and following good practices in the design of effective Powerpoint presentations.

RWI emphasizes the importance of preparation prior to and during the delivery of training as well as gathering feedback during and after training. An assortment of training and learning aids has been provided to enable training organizers prepare and deliver the courses efficiently. The modules will need adapting or updating. It is anticipated that they will fuel trainers’ creativity and encourage them to design learning experiences that cater to the unique needs of each group of participants and of each country at a given time in its extractive trajectory.


The Manual: Reporting on Oil, Gas and Mining

Knowledge Modules
1. The Players and the Game
2. The Product – Oil and Gas
3. The Product – Minerals
4. The Challenges – Economic and Political Risk
5. Licensing
6. Law and Contracts
7. Local Content
8. The Environment
9. Libel and Defamation
10. The Money Trail – Part I
11. The Money Trail – Part II
12. Understanding EITI
13. The Money Trail Revisited
14. Trends

Skills Modules
1. Role of the Journalist – Part I
2. Role of the Journalist – Part II
3. The Owl and the Squirrel
4. News That Matters
5. Show Me What You Know
6. Investigation and Analysis
7. The Story and the Evidence
8. Writing the Story

Training and Learning Aids
1. Extractive Industries Glossary
2. Extractive Industries Value Chain and Knowledge Topics
3. Field Trip – Preparation and Itinerary
4. Generic Agenda Foundation Course
5. Government Take
6. Journalism Skills Topics
7. Licensing Process
8. Mentoring Checklist
9. Methodology
10. Mind Map Steps
11. Objectives
12. Opening Session
13. Sample Agenda – Follow-up Workshop
14. Sample Agenda – Main Workshop
15. The Big Quiz Answer Sheet
16. The Big Quiz Questionnaire


Download the Introduction and Facilitation Guide below. To download and save the full module or individual handouts, please select from the files below and follow the instructions to provide your email address.

Introduction and Facilitation Guide
Training and Learning Aids: Opening Session  |  Field Trip
Complete Training Module
facilitation guide, presentation, handouts