2. Development journalism
The term “development journalism” was first coined in the 1960s at the Press Foundation of Asia. Filipino journalists Alan Chalkley and Juan Mercado were concerned that news organisations were covering socio-economic developments in a superficial way, with journalists reporting government press releases and quotes but leaving little space for analysis or evaluation of development projects.
Today development journalism looks at conditions in developing states and how to improve them. It exposes poverty worldwide and helps to research the causes, consequences and how to address poverty in developing nations.
Journalists often travel to remote areas in developing countries and report on the major issues at local level. They are often the first to highlight to the outside world the poor health and sanitary conditions and lack of basic education. In turn, they encourage co-operation between citizens and governments from their home countries and the nation in need.
Development journalists bring attention to issues that are overlooked or under-represented by other media and by the international political community. As investigative reporters, they uncover the stories within the stories, revealing the multi-faceted nature of poverty.
A feature on development journalism may cover the following issues: economic development, agriculture and food security, health, sanitation and medicine, employment, education and literacy, informational technologies development, housing conditions, environmental sustainability, urban and rural development, gender equality, etc. Its main actors are ordinary people rather than official figures; its emphasis is on stability, partnership, harmony, and consensus.
At the same time, there are insufficient studies and limited research on the principles and practices of development journalism, as well as a lack of clearly defined development journalism indicators. These journalists are sometimes accused of being too political; but the main criticism is that there are too few of them to cover all the various development issues around the globe.