We provide journalists across the world with the necessary knowledge and skills to help them understand and cover this issue. The programme also builds on the Foundation’s existing expertise on land and property rights, which comes from running PLACE, a dedicated news platform covering this issue with a team of journalists and correspondents all over the world.
Across the globe, it’s estimated that more than 1 billion people lack secure property rights, the formal recognition and protection of the right to use and have property. Although property rights sit at the heart of nearly every global development issue we face today, it remains underreported. This programme seeks to change that.
Why is there such a lack of quality coverage – or any coverage – of land and property rights? It is only in the last few decades that economists have accepted property rights as an important ingredient in encouraging development and economic growth. While policymakers in developed countries and international institutions now recognize the critical role played by a system of private property in economic development, a lack of coverage of property rights by news media organizations remains a barrier to broader recognition and understanding of this issue with the general public and key policymakers.
Another reason for the lack of coverage - journalists often tell the stories of the most vulnerable in our societies, those who face grave injustice, but often without realizing that property rights underpin those vulnerabilities. Inadequate access to land and insecure land tenure remain factors behind rural poverty, urban slum growth, gender inequality, violence and human rights abuses - all barriers to inclusive economic growth for many countries.
Another challenge - unlike food security, education, or gender equality, property rights do not inherently evoke empathy and connection. Skilled journalists, trained to spot property rights issues, can enrich and add varied depth to their reporting of larger social and economic issues.
If journalists better understood how prosperity and property rights are inextricably linked, and how to report on them, the chance to further meaningful dialogue between the general public and policymakers has a chance to emerge.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation builds on partnerships with organisations including the Pulitzer Centre for Crisis Reporting to deliver a tailored mixture of practical training, one-on-one mentoring, and targeted story funding to help journalists understand and cover this issue.
The programme also builds on the Foundation’s existing expertise on land and property rights, which comes from running PLACE, a dedicated news platform covering this issue with a team of journalists and correspondents all over the world.
The Pulitzer Center promotes in-depth engagement with global affairs through its support of quality international journalism across all media platforms and an innovative program of outreach and education. Pulitzer Center-funded journalists are reporting stories that increase transparency about land deals, expose weak land governance systems, and highlight the risks to stakeholders who invest in bad land deals. Their reporting illuminates fresh, new approaches to securing property rights that promote, rather than erode, local development priorities.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation is committed to fostering the highest standards of journalism worldwide. We believe accurate, impartial and independent journalism leads to better-informed societies. It holds power to account, strengthens the rule of law and contributes to economic and social development.Find out more