The Art of the Interview

The interview is one of the—if not the—most important tools we as journalists have to obtain information, to expand on information we may have from other sources, and to clarify facts and see things from different perspectives. We use the interview to expand upon the basic “who, what, where, how, when and why” of newsgathering. This is true whatever beat we may be covering: health, economics, politics, or issues having to do with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

A Dose of Advice: Tips on Covering Healthcare

In his 1999 book Development as Freedom, renowned economist and Noble laureate Amartya Sen stated that investment in healthcare can lead to success in meeting a wide range of development targets, such as those identified by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Indeed, good healthcare improves quality of life, reduces morbidity and mortality, and raises economic productivity. As such, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognised the importance of universal health coverage (UHC) and urged its member states to adopt programmes providing essential health packages.

Global Is Local, Local Is Global: Tips on Covering the Environment

The environment is the overarching issue of the 21st century for two reasons:
1. The environment includes and touches everything: air, water, food, health, climate, energy, development, poverty, economics—the list could go on without end.
2. Nearly every major environmental indicator is in decline.
We are pushing up against the limits of the Earth’s ability to support us. Climate change, biodiversity loss, and nitrogen pollution are moving toward crisis levels, according to recent studies. There is little public awareness of this reality, which means journalists covering the environment have a plethora of important stories to cover.

Two Million Dead in 2013: The HIV/AIDS Story Today

When a story on a particular topic is told over and over again, it leads to what is known as media fatigue—a situation where journalists and editors find the topic no longer newsworthy. However, the worst is when audiences become fatigued—when general readers are fed up with the subject as well. This problem is one that bedevils HIV/AIDS reporting despite the fact that many people—especially the affected and the infected—still want to learn more.

A Right, Not a Privilege: Tips on Covering Education

Education is the path to development. It creates choices and opportunities for people in terms of access to employment, reduces the twin burdens of poverty and disease, and empowers people. For nations as a whole, education produces a more skilled and competitive workforce that can attract better quality foreign investment, thus opening the doors to economic and social prosperity for society as a whole.

However, people often do not see how these global goals can be translated to local realities. The media plays a key role in forming opinion, helping to ensure that citizens and politicians alike recognise that there is no room for complacency in tackling the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to education.

One Problem, Many Dimensions: Tips on Covering Poverty

There are many different concepts and definitions of poverty. According to the Oxford University Poverty and Human Development Initiative, ‘Poverty is often defined by one-dimensional measures, such as income. But no one indicator alone can capture the multiple aspects that constitute poverty. Multidimensional poverty is made up of several factors that constitute poor people’s experience of deprivation–such as poor health, lack of education, inadequate living standard, lack of income (as one of several factors considered), disempowerment, poor quality of work and threat from violence.’

Reporter’s Guide: A Millennium Development Goal Primer

To Hermilio, a working day is no less than 12 hours. In return, he receives a wage that does not guarantee that his two children, who are six and seven years old, have food three times a day, nor does it prevent them having to walk miles to reach the nearest school. This is the reality in the Cusarare community in Chihuahua, northern Mexico, and in many other parts of the world. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—which underpin an alliance between governments and society geared at eradicating marginalisation—were created up in response to the suffering of Hermilio and the billions of others like him around the world.

Intro: Reporter’s Guide to Millennium Development Goals

Editor’s Note: For the next two weeks, GIJN is running a series drawn from the newly released Reporter’s Guide to the Millennium Development Goals: Covering Development Commitments for 2015 and Beyond, published by the International Press Institute. Agreed to in 2000, the UN Millennium Goals comprise an ambitious agenda to improve quality of life around the world, focusing on such issues as poverty, gender equality, and education.