International News Safety Institute update: July 2012

This month INSI ran its first safety training project for female journalists in Cairo. ‘No Woman’s Land’, INSI’s unprecedented publication about the safety of women journalists, had its genesis in the horrendous attack on the CBS journalist Lara Logan last year and she provided the foreword for our book. (INSI)

• INSI has recorded the deaths of 77 journalists and media staff this year, with a further 28 cases under investigation.

Syria continues to be the deadliest country for journalists and media workers – at least 19 news media casualties have been recorded since the start of 2012. Many more have been injured, detained and threatened.

INSI has been working with its members, who include some of the world’s leading media organisations, to share and collate information that might impact on the safety of journalists and news crews covering the events there.

The situation in Syria is extremely volatile and INSI urges all journalists covering Syria to read our safety advisory.

Those who would like more information or to speak confidentially should contact Hannah Storm +44 7766 814274 hannah.storm@newssafety.org

• INSI Director Rodney Pinder visited Brazil for the 7th annual Congress of Abraji, the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalists, and to check arrangements for more INSI safety training in the country.

Abraji is the second biggest association of investigative journalists in the world with 3,000 members, and this year’s event attracted more than 800 delegates, many of them concerned at the deteriorating security situation confronting journalists in Brazil.

Brazil, one of the world’s rising economic and political powers, is the 3rd most murderous nation for journalists this year and there are fears it might be heading along a similar path to that of Mexico, its deeply conflicted regional cousin to the north, torn by bloody conflicts with organised crime and corruption.

Delegates heard Brazilian journalists faced a pyramid of danger with murder at the peak and threats and harassment spreading out to the base.

Impunity, which allows journalist killers to escape justice, is rife.

Pinder addressed a workshop on safety and outlined international moves to make journalism safer in conflicted countries.

In the meantime, INSI is organising safety training free of charge for Brazilian journalists in Rio de Janeiro in August as part of an ongoing programme of practical assistance. This follows training provided in Rio and Sao Paulo for 105 journalists six years ago.

More details will be published soon.

Click here to read Pinder’s address

• Earlier this month INSI ran its first safety training project for female journalists. For this important pilot, we travelled to Cairo, where the working environment for women journalists is becoming increasingly difficult. The recently reported incidents of sexual harassment and assault have highlighted the dangers faced by female journalists, both local and foreign.

INSI’s unique publication, “No Woman’s Land – On the Frontlines with Female Reporters”, which was launched in March, shows the pressures women face as they go about their work; indeed this unprecedented publication about the safety of women journalists had its genesis in the horrendous attack on the CBS journalist Lara Logan last year and she provided the foreword for our book.

INSI will shortly be issuing comprehensive safety advice for female journalists working in Tahrir Square where the attack on Logan and a number of other female reporters took place. This was put together with the help of the ladies on our course.

We hope that this will be be first of many safety training courses specifically tailored towards the needs of women journalists, and designed and delivered for them by female security trainers. For more information on the specific work INSI is doing to help female journalists, please contact Hannah Storm. “No Woman’s Land” is available to buy via our website http://www.newssafety.org

• The Olympics have begun in London, and an estimated 21,000 journalists have been accredited to cover the Games. INSI has issued an advisory for media workers covering the Games, covering tips on accreditation, travel, how to cover protests and civil disorder, London police weaponry and tactics and how to deal with private security firms.

• BBC World Affairs Producer Stuart Hughes carried the Olympic torch on Tuesday (24 July), through Hillingdon, West London, in recognition of his campaigning work against landmines. Hughes lost part of his leg after stepping on a landmine while covering the war in Iraq 2003. His colleague, cameraman Kaveh Golestan, was killed instantly.

INSI was at the torch relay to support Hughes – watch the video on the INSI Blog 

• INSI-NA (North America) this month turned its attention to the upcoming national political party conventions, where large protests and heavy security will be present.

Over the last year, Occupy Wall Street protests provided a number of testing situations for journalists around the country: notably dozens of journalists have been arrested or assaulted by police officers, while a number of reporters have had recording equipment smashed by masked protesters.

In order that journalists traveling to the Republican National Convention (Tampa, Fl. Aug 27-30) or the Democratic National Convention (Charlotte, NC. Sept 3-6) are prepared with safety and legal information, INSI-NA has partnered with media advocacy group, Free Press, and the Harvard Citizen Media Law Project to prepare online seminars on journalist safety and rights with a focus on the conventions. These will run live for free in August, dates and details will be announced within the next week.

• The INSI Blog is growing in popularity and has featured articles from more guest writers, including Guatemala-based journalist Anna Claire-Bevan of the Guardian. The blog features articles by the INSI team and guest writers from around the world covering a broad range of topics involving media safety and security – from experiences of working as a local journalist in Afghanistan to advice on how to protect your work online. If you would like to write for us, please get in touch.

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About INSI Blog
The International News Safety Institute is a non-profit dedicated to the safety of news media in conflict and other danger.

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