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.
"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."