Covering the Extractive Industries

The extractive industries –the development and exploitation of oil, gas, and mining resources — is a critical topic for investigative journalists, particularly in developing countries. Revenues from natural resource extraction contribute substantially to GDP and in many cases make up the bulk of government revenue. The companies in the extractive sector are large and influential. How the revenues they generate are spent affects economic growth, the environment, domestic security, and social well-being. In many countries, however, revenues are wasted or lost due to corruption and financial mismanagement. This guide to covering extractive industries is reprinted from the academic paper “Covering the Extractives Industry: Big Data, New Tools, and Journalism,” by Anya Schiffrin and Erika Rodrigues.