Two new videos, one in English and one in Arabic, describe the history of oil development in Iraq. The videos were produced by Internews' Covering Energy project in Iraq, which was designed to raise energy literacy across the Iraqi media, create and embed a core of specialist energy reporters, and help the media and civil society fulfill their vital role in assisting positive moves by the government towards greater transparency and accountability in the industry and promote a more active role for citizens in the development of their country.
The Covering Energy project has exposed a large group of journalists and community service organization staff to the fundamentals of oil by enrolling them in the Internews Oil Foundation course.
On a parallel track, Internews created a mentorship program to foster a cadre of oil beat reporters.Ten Iraqi journalists enrolled to become specialists in oil and be a part of a demanding Internews mentorship program. They were exposed to lectures, workshops, four differently skilled mentors, field trips and continual feedback and evaluations of their articles. During the course of the mentorship program, the mentees steadily improved their writing skills and dramatically enhanced their understanding of the complex technical issues surrounding the extraction industry.
Internews also conducted a national contest for Best Oil Story. Contestants were required to publish and submit their stories to Internews for evaluation by two outside oil journalism experts. Eight broadcast media outlets covered the contest and the results were featured in numerous on-line Iraqi publications. The winner’s story was also featured on CNNArabic.com. By the end of the Covering Energy program, the total number of articles written by all the participants in Covering Energy training (Foundation Course and Mentorship Program) came to approximately 400.