Ten Practical Tips for Covering Development

By definition, development stories are big news in developing countries. The problem is media reports are typically just government announcements of infrastructure development – roads, bridges, hospitals, etc. – and official claims that lives will improve. Those articles turn off the reading and viewing public, and that has some editors pulling their staffs off this important coverage.

Here are 10 tips for covering development 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 we are writing for ordinary people – not development “experts” – to show them the implications of the events unfolding around them. It leads to creative, rich stories full of information and knowledge.