One of the more important ventures in the world of media and development over the past decade has been The Guardian newspaper’s ‘Katine’ project in Uganda. The newspaper, with funding from its readers and Barclays Bank, put more than 2.5 million pounds into a Ugandan sub-county over the course of 4 years. The project was profiled on a dedicated Guardian microsite, with regular updates in the printed edition of the newspaper. In this article, I look at the relationship that developed between journalists and the non-governmental organisation and show that the experience was both disorienting and reorienting for the development project that was being implemented. The scrutiny of the project that appeared on the microsite disoriented the non-governmental organisation, making its work the subject of public criticism. The particular issues explored by journalists also reoriented what the non-governmental organisation did on the ground. I also point to the ways the relationship grew more settled as the project moved along, suggesting the amount of work that sometimes goes into what is often characterised as the relatively uncritical relationship between journalists and non-governmental organisations.
- Civil society
- international/transnational journalism
- The Guardian