Project news & updates

The EJC launches Guide to Reporting Development for Bolivian journalists

24 April 2013 | PRESS RELEASE


This week with sponsorship and support from the European Journalism Centre, Fundacion para el Periodismo (FPP), a media education institution based in La Paz Bolivia, presented the Spanish language handbook version of “A Guide to Reporting Development”, which aims to act as a key resource for Bolivian journalists in the coverage and conduct of reporting on issues linked to human and economic development of society. The original version of the manual was written in English by British journalist Oliver Wates and translated, edited, adapted and localised by Bolivian journalist Isabel Mercado.

The guide consists of three narrative chapters. The first, “Development As News” aims to introduce the reader to the issues of development and stresses the importance and impacts of development reporting on society. The second, entitled “How Development Aid Works” discusses the organisations that work to promote the development of nations and how journalists can relate to them. The third and final chapter “Issues” addresses, from a journalistic perspective, localised development areas such as education, health, water and sanitation, women’s rights, climate change and governance, among others. The appendix includes statistics and indexes related specifically to Bolivia and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

“This manual is designed for journalists interested in writing about development without necessarily having experience in the field. Its purpose is to provide guidance on how to approach this issue and seek information, “says Victor Toro, President of the Board of Fundacion para el Periodismo at the launch of the guide in Bolivia’s capital La Paz.

“You don’t get people interested in ending poverty or getting girls into school just by caring passionately about it,” says the manual’s author Wates. “You have to know how to write about it in a way that interests them. Hopefully this will help Bolivian journalists to do precisely that.”  

The guide and its countrywide launch are part of the EJC’s multi-year commitment to media development in Bolivia, an important component of which includes increasing the local media’s capacity for societal impact. “The role media can play in bringing visibility to development issues is vital”, says EJC Bolivia country manager Josh LaPorte. “Decision-makers, society’s agents of change and the public at large, can be strongly influenced and pressured by timely, hard-hitting, compelling and factual development reporting.”   

The project is funded through the MFSII instrument of the Netherlands Foreign Ministry in The Hague.  It is part of a much broader global five year project ‘Press Freedom 2.0’ that includes Dutch-based media partners World Press Photo, Free Press Unlimited and Mensen met een Missie working in 11 countries on five continents.  

MFSII - Press Freedom 2.0
A five-year, international media development initiative, Press Freedom 2.0 aims to support democratic development by empowering civil society, citizens, and local media organisations through the implementation of local media projects. Conducted by a Dutch consortium, the Press Freedom initiative offers a range of trainings and activities specifically tailored to the needs of 11 selected countries.

Bolivia: Press Freedom, Journalism Training, and Media Literacy
The EJC is engaged in three different media projects, each of them aiming to bring change to Bolivia’s media environment. Focusing on press freedom, mainly through the protection of journalists’ rights and media ethics, journalism training, and media literacy, the projects are designed to answer the needs and expectations of both media professionals and civil society activists in the country.