Reporting Research

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Media Handbook for Development Researchers

This guide is primarily a how-to manual of tools, resources, and tips for the benefit of development researchers interested in opening an ongoing dialogue with the media and a reliable avenue for disseminating their research. As a researcher you will gain:

  • Valuable insights in the professional cultures and operations of the media in East Africa
  • Practical knowledge on how to convey research results with the media in compelling form, substance and style

What follows is a package of strategies to help you as a development researcher get your message across to and through the media. Inevitably, success will not come our just from the mastery of the mechanics of working with the media but also, importantly, from a grasp of the roles, functions, opportunities, and limitations of the media in development and in public policy discourses.

Developed by PEA’s Relay programme this how-to guide is specifically targeted at researchers in eight countries of East Africa and the Horn of Africa: Dijbouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda.

This handbook clarifies the professional context of journalism that development researchers must be aware of in their media outreach efforts. It offers a series of practical tips on how to effectively
present and package development research for the consumption of the media and for the benefit of their audiences. The handbook also gives some extra insights into the structure of the media industry and journalistic profession in Eastern Africa generally.

Researchers are reminded that development research must ultimately compete for time and space, and have the same appeal, as any other category of public information and news. In many significant ways, therefore, suggestions in this guide reflect the typical advice that anybody interested communicating important public issues via the media would find applicable and handy. Similarly, although the advice in this guide draws on specific examples and experience s from selected countries in Eastern Africa, development researchers across the region will find the guidelines equally relevant.


Customers view newspapers at a news stand in Dar es Salam, Tanzania. Mark Henley - Panos Pictures

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