Iraqi Journalists Closely Examine Oil Industry

Through a mentorship program, journalists improve reporting skills on complex industry

A journalist stands in front of a power plant
Journalist mentees visit an oil drilling site at the Rumaila Oil Field (credit: Internews)

The oil industry is critical to Iraq’s future, accounting for almost 95% of the government’s revenues. Yet much of the public – and Iraq’s media – don’t have a strong understanding of the complex issues surrounding the international oil industry.

Through a mentorship program organized by Internews, a select group of local journalists now have long-term access to international mentors with strong backgrounds in energy reporting.

A recent field trip to the Rumaila oil field near the border with Kuwait, considered the fourth largest oil field in the world, gave the journalists the opportunity to question British Petroleum (BP) engineers and learn about oil extraction up-close.

“This was my first time speaking to executives at BP and my first time on an oil field. I was able to ask BP about the negative rumors about their company. These rumors included lax safety standards, potential future contract with Kurdistan and massive environmental pollution,” said Dr. Amina Al Dhby, one of the journalism mentees. “The field trip and the accessibility of BP executives helped answer many of my questions.”

Throughout the mentorship, senior journalists will give regular, thorough evaluations of mentee’s oil articles, expose them to topics regarding oil and the energy industry, and help to publish important oil stories.

By strengthening the local Iraqi media, Internews will enable it to serve as better guardians for greater transparency, public information, and accountability.

Related Stories

  • How sunshine is bringing radio to remote parts of South Sudan

    Monday, February 13, 2017

    (Internews' program assisting community radio in South Sudan is covered in this article from Mashable.)

    In South Sudan, most people don't have a TV. They rely on radio to get information. But limited access to power means entire communities of are left in information darkness for days at a time, especially in remote areas. One man is turning to the sun to change that. 

  • In the Loop

    Cover: Our eyes, our future, our dreams...
    Thursday, February 9, 2017

    Special Edition: Since January 2016, 38 percent of new arrivals to Greece have been children. Yet we rarely hear what they have to say. In December Internews produced an eight-page special issue of In The Loop featuring the voices and artwork of refugee and migrant children in Greece.