The evolving challenges and complexities of war coverage have been brought into stark reality with the Israel-Hamas conflict. Earlier this week, WAN-IFRA condemned the killing of Palestinian journalists, and called on both sides to “respect international humanitarian law and to do everything conceivable to ensure journalists can safely do their work.”
Media support organisations have a host of tools and trainings to help frontline reporters, and those working online, to cope with the extreme risks and pressures. Many have been repurposed and updated for the current challenges and are listed below.
A free training course is on offer from Eurovision News, the European Broadcasting Union Academy and the Thomson Foundation. For The Record – How to Document Stories From a War Zone is designed to equip both seasoned journalists looking to enhance their skills and newcomers who are entering the challenging world of conflict journalism with essential skills and knowledge to report from a war zone safely and effectively. Register on Telegram or the EBU website.
Liz Corbin, EBU’s Deputy Director of Media and Head of News said the course was for both journalists who find themselves in the middle of the worst atrocities and the newsrooms who support them.
The timing is prescient: after an avalanche of shocking content and misinformation on social media, The Times UK video producer Stéphanie Bosset tweeted out a helpful thread of diverse resources for newsroom editors and coordinators; see resource box below for her recommended links.
Her best advice for those having to watch graphic UGC / social media video? “Watch them initially with the sound off. It may seem like a small change but it makes a massive difference.”
Newsroom editors and coordinators:
please check in with your staff and freelancers. They will have seen an inordinate amount of very graphic UGC in the last few days.
A few resources:
— Stéphanie Bosset (@39_stephs) October 11, 2023
And, in the statement released earlier this week condemning the killing of Palestinian journalists, WAN-IFRA urged all media organisations, “local and foreign news teams alike, to prioritise the safety of their people working on the ground. This includes providing all necessary safety equipment, logistical assistance, and dedicated newsroom support to those at greatest risk.”
WAN-IFRA Executive Director of Press Freedom, Andew Heslop, also questioned whether lessons learned from previous conflicts are being effectively applied in newsrooms today – and spoke to several major publications on their experiences, limitations and immediate concerns.
To this end, we have compiled a list of additional resources for journalists, newsrooms and publishers, from checklists to toolkits and manuals.
Physical Safety: War Reporting from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
CPJ’s Safety Kit
CPJ’s four-part Safety Kit provides journalists and newsrooms with basic safety information on physical, digital and psychological safety resources and tools.
Reporters Without Borders and UNESCO’s Safety Guide For Journalists is a handbook for reporters in high-risk environments
Legal, Financial and Crisis Aid
Freelancers’ rights: (IFJ)
The IFJ’s Safety Fund is a lifeline for journalists facing violence, persecution and threat or needing medical treatment.
Financial Assistance for freelancers
The Rory Peck Trust offers financial assistance via their Crisis Fund or Therapy Fund
Journalist Safety and Emergencies (Committee to Protect Journalists)
CPJ’s Emergencies Response Team provides comprehensive, life-saving support to journalists and media support staff worldwide
International Committee off The Red Cross (ICRC) provides 24-hour assistance to Journalists in crisis; their Hotline: +41 79 217 32 85 and +41 22 730 3443
Legal Network for Journalists at Risk
ACOS Alliance provides excellent references for insurance, legal rights, and other up-to-date safety resources.
Also Watch: Safety for Journalists in Conflict Zones Abeer Saady, a war correspondent, researcher, media consultant and trainer specialising in safety and security, offers essential advice in this webinar from the International Center for Journalists.
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