Aug. 5, 2010, 12:48 p.m.
Impact Evaluation is an increasingly important component in every field of development. While there is certainly debate over the usefulness and accuracy of such forms of measurement, practitioners are increasingly finding a need to demonstrate that what they are doing is actually making a difference. These measurements can be useful in demonstrating a relationship that often seems intuitive, but lacks evidence. One such intuitive relationship is that between a free press and a lower level of corruption. The Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) has released a report, which attempts to assess whether independent journalists are actually having a measurable impact on the levels of corruption and transparency in their countries. The report then recommends best practices and training that practitioners should use to better support and protect investigative journalists.
The idea that a free press is linked to better, more honest government is accepted as a given, largely without direct evidence. Yet only recently have news organizations begun asking whether what they are doing is making any difference. This paper will attempt to discern patterns in the topics and methods of reporting that seem to lead to civil action and reform and also keep journalists safe to do more of that work. The purpose is to suggest some of the best practices and training that should be put into place by media development organizations and educational institutions.