Digital Risk Assessment

Consider your digital safety.

Digital risk assessment

As a freelance journalist, protecting yourself is no longer just about physical safety. You need to consider your digital safety too – and plan accordingly.

This Digital Risk Assessment will help you to identify – and assess – the potential digital security threats associated with your story or assignment.

As you work through the assessment you will find links to relevant pages within our guide. These will give you further information on how you can mitigate different digital risks and reduce your exposure to potential threats.

1. Outline your assignment

Before you can properly identify the major risks to your digital security, it’s a good idea to break down your story or assignment and consider its key elements. Try to identify all the major components: the key story, interviewees, travel arrangements and any other actions that are vital to your plans. Once you’ve done this, it will be easier to identify all the areas you need to consider for your risk assessment.

List and give as much detail as possible on the following:

  • Story outline
  • Key interviewees
  • Travel plans
  • Accommodation
  • Key Actions

2. What digital threats are posed by covering this story?

Now think about your key risks, threats and adversaries.

Remember, you don’t have to be covering a controversial or sensitive story to do be digitally vulnerable. You should get into the habit of completing a risk assessment for all assignments or stories as the process may reveal potential threats that you had not already thought about.

Consider the following:

a) Will you be contacting or interviewing vulnerable people?

If yes:

  • How will you store and protect the data of people you are interviewing?
  • How and where will you store your notes and materials?

b) Are you covering a sensitive or controversial topic?

If yes:

  • Does it involve information that needs to remain secret or confidential?
  • When are you going to be at greatest risk?
  • When will your sources be at the greatest risk of targeted surveillance – during research and/or production, when the story is finished or when it goes public?
  • How are you preparing yourself for possible increased surveillance? How are you helping your sources prepare?

c) What is the location of your assignment/story?

  • What is known about government surveillance/censorship of the web and mobile communications in that area?
  • What are the laws around free speech and right to privacy, if any?
  • What has been published regarding the persecution or rights of journalists, whistleblowers or activists over their online activity?

​d) Who are the adversaries likely to pose a threat to your digital security?

Think of your adversaries in two ways:

  • i) INTENTIONAL ADVERSARIES:These could be governments, businesses, criminal organisations or individuals opposed to your work or to media exposure. Think of who may face some cost (legally, reputational, professionally, etc.) as a result of your assignment.
  • ii) UNINTENTIONAL ADVERSARIES: This can include random hackers targeting a service used by thousands of people including you. It could be someone hacking a wireless network you happen to be using at the time. It could also be the theft of your equipment.

This will help you make decisions about password protecting your equipment or encrypting hard drives.

See our guide on encryption for further help and information
See our guide on malware for further help and information

3. Your equipment

a) List each piece of communications equipment you will be bringing on assignment.

For each one, state:

  • What kind of messages will you be sending and receiving with the device? (e.g. SMS, email, instant message, phone calls).
  • Is there, or has there been, any sensitive information on this device that you need to protect?
  • Will you always have your devices on you?
  • Will you be leaving the device somewhere where someone may be able to access it?
  • Do you have any security checks (e.g. passwords, encryption, etc.) set up on your device to prevent unauthorised access?
  • Will you be using anyone else’s communications equipment or public internet access during your assignment?
  • What steps will you take to reduce the risk that using this equipment could pose to you?

See our guide on mobile phones for further help and information
See our guide on computers for further help and information

4. Your materials

Consider what material(s) you’ll be gathering or recording during your assignment.

For each one list:

  • What format is the material? (e.g. film, text, audio, image etc.)
  • Is the content controversial? If it were accessed by hostile parties, would this put you or anyone else involved in the report under threat?
  • Where/how is this material being stored? Have you taken any steps to protect this information?
  • Will you need to send material?
  • What steps are you taking to minimise the chance and severity that recording/transmitting the material will pose? (A videojournalist will have different needs to a radio journalist.)
  • How are you moving your material across borders?

See our guide on securing your materials for further help and information
See our guide on borders crossings and checkpoints for further help and information

5. Communications

List all of the people who you will need to contact while on assignment, such as interviewees, freelance colleagues, sources, editors.

For each contact state:

  • Who are they and who could be monitoring them? (Employer, government, etc.).
  • How will you be contacting them?
  • Will you need to send or receive any sensitive information from them?
  • Will contacting them put you or your contact at risk? What steps will you take to mitigate the chance and severity of this risk?

See our guide on email for further help and information
See our guide on mobile phones for further help and information
See our guide on encryption for further help and information

6. Research and online access

Think about what sites, information and content you will need to access online and consider the potential risks when doing so. If accessing online content could cause you problems, list it out.

For each one state:

  • Is that content blocked in the country/region you will be working from?
  • If you need to access blocked content, how will you do this?
  • What potential is there that your activity could be monitored?
  • What steps will you take to mitigate these risks?

See our guide on you and the internet for further help and information
See our guide on malware for further help and information

7. Your digital profile

a) Have you reviewed your online profile for content that could put you or your contacts at risk?

  • Have you published anything or commented on anything that criticises an adversary?
  • If yes, what are you going to do to mitigate the severity of this risk?

c) Do you have one or more personal websites?

  • Could the information stored on it put you or your contacts at risk?
  • If yes, what are you going to do to mitigate the chance and severity of this risk?

c) Are you planning on using social media during your assignment or story?

If yes:

  • Have you created long, strong passwords for your accounts?
  • How up-to-date are your privacy settings on social media sites?
  • Have you actively engaged in (tweeted, shared, commented, liked, etc.) content that could put you at risk while on assignment?
  • Do you have separate personal and professional social media accounts?
  • What other steps are you taking to mitigate the chance and severity that your social media activity could pose to you?

See our guide on social media for further help and information


Digital Security is only one part of an assignment or project safety plan and should be considered as just one part of your safety preparations. The Trust’s Safety and Security Resources can help you with other areas of your safety preparation.

Lord Black of Brentwood (Patron)

Deputy Chairman, Telegraph Media Group

“I am hugely impressed by the vital work of the Rory Peck Trust… it deserves to be widely supported across the publishing industry.”

Lord Black is Deputy Chairman at the Telegraph Media Group, Chairman of the Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) Media Trust, and an Executive Committee Member of the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA).

He is a passionate defender of press freedom and free speech in the UK and across the Commonwealth. From 1996 – 2003 he was Director of the Press Complaints Commission, and from 2003-2005 he was Director of Communications for the Conservative Party.

He is an active Member of the House of Lords and speaks regularly on matters such as freedom of speech; animal welfare; gay equality and music education. He is also a Churchwarden of St Bride’s Church and a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum.

Sarah Ward-Lilley (Chair)

Managing Editor, BBC News

“Being a Trustee is my way of trying to use my experience at the BBC to help the wider freelance community.”

Sarah has had a long-term involvement with the Rory Peck Trust, having produced The Rory Peck Awards for 5 years and serving as a member of the Board since 2004. She joined BBC News in 1989 as a producer in the TV Newsroom and after working as a field producer for many years, she became Managing Editor and later Deputy Head of BBC Newsgathering. In both those roles, Sarah had a special responsibility for safety, training and welfare. She currently manages all the BBC’s international news bureaux. Sarah is Vice President of the EBU News Committee and an advisor to the Dart Centre (Europe) for Journalism and Trauma.

“I’ve spent much of the last 10 years working to support BBC teams who cover dangerous and difficult stories around the world. These teams are often a mix of BBC staff and freelancers. We ensure that our freelancers have access to training, insurance and contracts, so that they are protected and safe and it’s this awareness of the specific issues and concerns that all freelancers face which has made me so committed to the work of the Trust. Being a Trustee is my way of trying to use my experience at the BBC to help the wider freelance community.”

James Brabazon

Freelance Journalist and Filmmaker

“Quite simply the Trust watches our back, and without them the work of freelancers worldwide would be harder and more insecure.”

James Brabazon is an award-winning frontline journalist and documentary filmmaker. Based in London he has travelled in over 70 countries, investigating, filming and directing in the world’s most hostile environments. His awards include the Rory Peck Sony International Impact Award 2003, the Rory Peck Freelancer’s Choice Award 2003, the IDA Courage Under Fire Award 2004 and the IDFA Joris Ivens Competition Special Jury Award 2004.

James has also been nominated for two BAFTAs and two Emmys. He has made over forty international current affairs films broadcast by the BBC, Channel 4, CNN, SABC and the Discovery Channel. James lectures on the ethics and practicalities of journalism in war zones and has written for the Observer, the Independent and the Guardian. His international bestseller book, My Friend the Mercenary, was published by Canongate in June 2010 a memoir recounting his experiences of the Liberian civil war and the Equatorial Guinea coup plot. James joined the Board of The Rory Peck Trust in 2010.

“The Rory Peck Trust is a unique lifeline of help, care and support for freelancers who work under the most difficult conditions, reporting the hardest stories, facing the greatest risks. Quite simply the Trust watches our back, and without them the work of freelancers worldwide would be harder and more insecure. Being connected to the Rory Peck Trust is to be connected to the global community of freelancers – helping to keep our work as productive, and sustainable, and as safe as possible.”

Madhav Chinnappa

Director of Strategic Relations for News & Publishers, Google

“The Trust supports a part of the news ecosystem that often gets overlooked – freelancers.”

Madhav Chinnappa is the Director of Strategic Relations for News & Publishers, working on partnerships and collaboration between Google and the news industry. In 2015, he launched the Digital News Initiative, which is Google’s overarching framework for engagement with the European news ecosystem. He joined Google in 2010 to focus on Google News & Magazines in the EMEA regions. He has worked in the news industry since 1994 – first in the launch team of Associated Press Television (APTV), a year in M&A at United News & Media and spent over 9 years at BBC News, latterly as Head of Development & Rights.

“I have known, and been impressed and humbled by the work the Rory Peck Trust has done from the early days of my career at APTV. The Trust supports a part of the news ecosystem that often gets overlooked – freelancers – and yet it is these self same freelancers who play an invaluable role in the news that we all consume. I am honoured to be on the board of the Trust.”

Andy Clarke

Bureau Chief, CBS News London

“As the only charity for freelancers, the Trust is a beacon of hope for all those who cover the news without the backing of a large organisation.”

Andy first became involved with the Rory Peck Trust in 2006 when staff cameraman Paul Douglas and freelance soundman James Brolan were tragically killed by a terrorist bomb in Baghdad. “I was so impressed with the way the Trust helped CBS News support the Brolan family that I knew it was an organisation I wanted to support.” Since the untimely death of his colleagues Andy, and CBS News London have organised a number of charitable events to raise money for the Trust.

Andy became London Bureau Chief in 2011 after serving 5 years as the Deputy Bureau Chief. Before that, Andy spent two decades covering stories around the globe as a producer for CBS News, more often than not in hostile environments. He was based in Tokyo and reported from the Far East for five years. Andy is the recipient of two national Emmy awards and an Overseas Press Club of America award for his coverage of the Kashmir Earthquake in 2005.

Ben de Pear

Editor, Channel 4 News

“Freelancers cover the stories we can’t or don’t – but often should.”

Ben became Editor of Channel 4 News in August 2012. Before that, he was Head of Foreign News at Channel 4 News, following a decade mostly in hostile environments as a foreign producer for ITN and Sky News. Ben was based in Johannesburg for Sky from 2000-2005 and worked all over Africa, as well as across the Middle East, Asia and Europe. In 1999 he produced Sky’s RTS Award winning coverage of Kosovo, and was their Producer in Baghdad for the US led invasion in 2003. In 2004 he obtained the only British TV interview with President Robert Mugabe this century. At Channel 4 News he has helped win over a dozen RTS awards, a BAFTA and 4 Amnesty International Awards for television. Ben has been on the Board of the Rory Peck Trust since 2009.

“The Trust is a vital organization to help those who want to find out the truth, but who don’t have the protection and support of a big organization. Freelancers cover the stories we can’t or don’t – but often should. The Rory Peck Trust supports them and there is no other organization out there doing this work.”

Andrea Diez de Sollano

Director of Philanthropy, UWC Atlantic College

“As an RPT Trustee, I hope to help broaden its global network of supporters, so it becomes a long-lasting initiative for future generations of freelancers.”

“I am a firm believer in the freedom of information and having worked in the international arena for more than thirteen years has made me value the importance of reliable information and supporting those who go out to seek it.”

Andrea joins us with thirteen years of experience in Philanthropy and International Relations. She is a senior member of the Kew Foundation, the second fastest growing charity in the UK. She is now responsible for broadening RBG, Kew’s global high-net worth relationships, developing and implementing the fundraising strategy for Europe and Latin America, with a special focus in Mexico and Brazil.

Andrea’s past experience includes working for the British Mexican Society, the Mexican Embassy in London and the Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry. She is an International Relations postgraduate from the London School of Economics, and speaks fluent Spanish, French and English.

Giles Duley

Freelance photographer, writer and story-teller

“Giles joined the Board of Trustees in early 2017.”

“Photography is a particularly solitary profession and as freelancers we are used to working alone. When you are injured doing that work, it can be even more isolating. That’s where RPT steps in, and I know from personal experience, it’s not just the financial support: it’s the chats on the phone, the follow-ups to make sure you are OK. When I needed support RPT reminded me I was not alone.”

Giles Duley, Hon FRPS, worked as a successful fashion and music photographer for ten years. However, having become disillusioned with celebrity culture, he then abandoned photography and left London to work as a full-time carer. In this role he rediscovered his craft and its power to tell the stories of those without a voice. He returned to photography in 2000, personally funding trips to document the work of NGOs and the stories of those affected by conflict across the world. In 2011, Giles lost both legs and his left arm after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan whilst photographing those caught up in the conflict. He was told he would never walk again and that his career was over. Characteristically stubborn, Giles told his doctors “I’m still a photographer”, and returned to work less than 18 months later.

Giles went back to Afghanistan in 2012 to complete his original assignment. His return was the feature of the award-winning Channel 4 documentary, Walking Wounded: Return to the Frontline. Numerous papers and magazines have since featured his work, and he has talked about his experiences on television, radio and at several international and national events. In 2013 Giles won the May Chidiac Award for Bravery in Journalism and the AIB Founders Award for Outstanding Achievement, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. He is also a trustee of the Italian NGO Emergency and ambassador for Sir Bobby Charlton’s landmine charity Find A Better Way.

Ciara O’Sullivan

Head of Media Relations, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

“As a Trustee I hope that I can bring my broad experience to help amplify the voices of those the Rory Peck Trust has helped.”

“I’ve had an interest in the Trust’s work since my early days working in the BBC News press office, where I used to publicise the Firing Line programme featuring the annual finalists of the Rory Peck Awards. I watched admiringly as freelancers were seen taking risks to tell important stories in some of the hardest places to work on earth, and it made me appreciate how much they need to have somewhere with their interests at heart when things don’t go well. As a Trustee I hope that I can bring my broad experience to help amplify the voices of those the Rory Peck Trust has helped”.

Ciara joined the Board as a Trustee in January 2015. She brings with her over 14 years of experience in international communications. She currently works as the Head of Media Relations for the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew where she is tasked with raising awareness of the value of plants and botanical science globally.

She was previously the Media Manager at the development charity VSO and a Communications Consultant for The World Bank, in Washington DC. After working as Acting Head of PR at BBC World Television for a time she also spend the period between 2003-2007 working as a freelance journalist based in Brazil. She currently sits on the board of the Irish VIVA Aid charity, which supports veterinary aid and training in developing countries.

Siobhan Sinnerton

Commissioning Editor for News and Current Affairs, Channel 4

“As a film-maker I know how quickly situations or just downright luck can change.”

Before joining Channel 4, Siobhan spent 4 years at the award-winning Quicksilver Productions in Oxford. Two of those were as Series Editor on Unreported World and as an Executive producer on Dispatches and First Cut. Previously Siobhan worked at ITV/Granada making a wide range of documentaries and current affairs programmes. In 2012, Siobhan took a secondment from Channel 4 to make ‘Walking Wounded: Return to the Frontline’ a documentary about British freelance photographer Giles Duley who lost 3 limbs when he stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan. She believes that Giles’ experience demonstrates how, more than ever, the community of journalists and film-makers need to look after freelancers reporting from difficult places. Siobhan became a Board member in 2010.

“I am a passionate believer in the Trust’s core functions: emergency assistance for, and safety training of freelancers. As a film-maker I know how quickly situations or just downright luck can change. When I’ve been in dangerous places I’ve nearly always been on assignment, and had someone at the end of a phone to step in when things go wrong, I’ve had insurance, medical evacuation cover, and all the things that make a terrible situation more bearable. But so many freelance newsgatherers don’t have that person at the end of phone. It’s left to their families or friends to try to work out what to do. As a commissioning editor I believe passionately in the importance of training, particularly first aid training for people going into hostile environments.”

Evan Williams

Independent Reporter and Producer

“Through my own work I have experienced first hand the importance of freelancers across the world.”

“In my 25 years covering international TV News and Current Affairs I have worked many times with freelance camera people and journalists in some of the toughest parts of the world. Twelve years ago I moved to London and started freelancing myself, working for Channel 4 and others, and setting up my own production company.

Through the courts of all this work I have experienced first hand the importance of freelance work and the needs of freelancers across the world. Through this I have learnt the extraordinary and unique role the Rory Peck Trust plays in helping the vital work of freelancers, many of whom are in dangerous and vulnerable situations due to their commitment to telling the truth.”

Evan Williams has been a print, radio and television journalist for more than 20 years, most recently specialising in TV current affairs programmes and documentaries on a wide variety of international investigations.

He currently works as an independent reporter and producer. His work has featured on a number of major news programmes, including Channel 4’s Unreported World and PBS, and he has reported from many of the world’s most dangerous environments (Egypt, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Burma). He previously worked as one of two Senior Staff Reporters with the Australian ABC’s ‘Foreign Correspondent’ programme, and between 1992-1997 was Australian ABC’s Southeast Asia correspondent.

Evan has been a finalist for several Australian Walkley Awards, won commendations for TV interviewing and won several New York Festival TV Awards.

Alex Crawford, OBE

Special Correspondent, Sky News

“The Trust does tremendous work highlighting the role of freelancers, and helping them when it’s difficult to get media organisations to take responsibility.”

Alex is based in South Africa. She reports across the continent and is deployed to big stories around the world. Formerly based in Sky’s Dubai bureau, Alex has reported on the Gulf and the Middle East, most recently covering the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Libya. Her work has been recognised by the Foreign Press Association in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. She has been cited in the Bayeux War Correspondents Awards for her reports from hostile environments every year since 2007. She is a four-times winner of the Royal Television Society Journalist of the Year Award. Alex is married and has four children.

“Wherever I have reported, from places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, the Middle East and the ‘Arab Spring world’, I have been indebted to the army of freelancers and casual workers who have toiled alongside me in the most difficult and challenging of situations. They’ve helped me, engineered access for me, organised interviews with the people who count, got me out of the brown stuff, been fantastically brave and been an incredible inspiration all round. Somehow they have tolerated me and educated me to boot – usually for very little financial gain and at tremendous potential cost to their lives, families and well-being. I look at some of the journalism produced by Rory Peck members and others presented at the RP awards which I watch every year and I leave feeling knocked-out by the bravery, the tenacity, the determination and the sheer skill and talent of some of these individuals and teams.”

Lyse Doucet

Presenter and Chief International Correspondent, BBC

“…an organisation that, in a big way, tells freelance journalists you are not on your own. None of us should forget what it’s like to be a freelancer.”

Lyse has been reporting for the BBC for nearly 30 years, with posts in Abidjan, Kabul, Islamabad, Tehran, Amman and Jerusalem. In 1999 she joined the BBC’s team of presenters but most of her time is spent going back to regions where she lived, and also discovering new ones. Lyse often presents from the field for BBC World News, and the BBC World Service’s flagship Newshour programme, as well as the News Channel. She works as a correspondent, reporting across the BBC’s global and domestic TV and radio outlets. She also writes for BBC online and posts – judiciously! – on Twitter and Facebook. Lyse feels at home in many places but is still Canadian. She was educated in Canada, at Queen’s University, and the University of Toronto, and has been awarded several honorary doctorates as well as major journalism awards.

“Who could ever forget Rory Peck? And who can forget what it’s like to be a freelancer? I first met Rory when I moved to Pakistan in 1988 to work as a freelancer for the BBC, and others. Rory’s curiosity and courage to pursue the compelling stories of the Afghan war drew many to him. Many journalists share his drive and determination to tell the stories of our time that must be told. Many are freelancers who work with constant risk and uncertainty. They need our support – when they are in the field in pursuit of stories that matter, and when they are in difficulty or danger. That’s why I support the Rory Peck Trust. It’s a small way to pay tribute to a colleague and friend whose determination to be where it mattered cost him dearly. And it links me to an organisation that, in a big way, tells freelance journalists you are not on your own. None of us should forget what it’s like to be a freelancer.”

Lindsey Hilsum

Presenter and Chief International Correspondent, BBC

“Nowadays, freelancers are under more pressure than ever. I have always admired how the Trust provides support to them, and celebrates their work with the awards.”

Lindsey Hilsum was based in Kenya as a freelance at one time and has been a supporter of the Rory Peck Trust for many years. She has covered the major wars and refugee movements of the past three decades, including Syria, Ukraine, and Afghanistan. She has also reported extensively on the Arab Spring in Egypt and Libya, from Iran and Zimbabwe, and was Channel 4 News China Correspondent from 2006 to 2008. She is the author of Sandstorm; Libya in the Time of Revolution and has been Royal Television Society Journalist of the Year. She has also won the Charles Wheeler Award, the James Cameron Award and recognition from the One World Media and Amnesty International. Before becoming a journalist, she was an aid worker, first in Latin America and then in Africa. She is currently writing a biography of the war correspondent Marie Colvin.

“I used to be a freelance so I know what it’s like to screw your courage to the sticking place and ring up an editor – and then do it again when you’re turned down. Nowadays, freelancers are under more pressure than ever, both financially and in terms of safety. I have always admired how Rory Peck Trust provides practical support to freelances, and celebrates them with the annual awards.”

Raj Parker

Barrister, Matrix Chambers

“Without it independent free journalism would be significantly poorer. I am proud to be an Associate of the Trust.”

Raj is also a solicitor advocate, mediator, arbitrator and a Crown Court Recorder, a Director and Trustee of the RCJ Advice Bureau and International Justice Mission (UK). Raj was a Trustee of The Rory Peck Trust from 2002 – 2011. As a result of his ongoing commitment, the Trust continues to benefit from pro-bono legal support when necessary.

“I am pleased to have been involved with the Trust for more than 20 years. My connection dates back to Rory Peck himself who was the elder brother of my best man Colin. As a commercial lawyer who specialises in contentious work and crisis management for large corporations in many industry sectors, I know how difficult some parts of the world are and how unpredictable they can be. The Rory Peck Trust does extraordinary work to support freelance newsgatherers and their families. Without it independent free journalism would be significantly poorer. I am proud to be an Associate of the Trust.”

James Peck

Director Corporate Functions, Badenoch & Clark

“Now more than ever, I understand the importance of the Trust’s work as the environment for freelance journalists becomes more and more dangerous.”

James is a head hunter in Geneva, Switzerland where he has lived since 2004. As the eldest son of Rory, he has been attending the Rory Peck Awards since the beginning in 1995 and has seen the Trust grow and change with the times. He is proud to be representing the Peck family and maintaining the strong links that have been formed since his stepmother Juliet started the charity. James is looking forward to doing whatever is needed to raise awareness of the Trust and promote its work.

James Mates

Europe Editor, ITV News

“…I am hugely proud to support the work it does – work that no other charity is doing – and believe it must only get stronger as the demand, sadly, increases.”

James Mates began his career as an editorial trainee ITN, and has held various roles, including diplomatic editor and Washington and Moscow Correspondent. James’s assignments have covered the refugee crisis in Yugoslavia, the NATO invasion of Kosovo, Yeltsin’s attempt to put down the uprising in Chechnya and the Arab Spring uprisings and Rwanda, where he reported on the Central African Republic’s genocidal civil war. As the only television journalist left in the capital Kigali in 1994, James watched the city fall to the rebel army of the Rwandan Patriotic Front. In 2001 James played a key role in ITV news coverage of the September 11 attacks, reporting from New York and Washington. Together with his ITN/C4 News colleague Alex Thomson, James has been instrumental helping to generate significant funding support from the media for the Trust’s work.

“I got to know Rory and Juliet Peck well when we all lived in Moscow in the early ’90’s. Our children are the same age and used to romp together for hours on the floor of the wonderful Peck ‘dacha’ on the outskirts of the city. I’ve been involved with the RPT for some years now, and I am hugely proud to support the work it does – work that no other charity is doing – and believe it must only get stronger as the demand, sadly, increases. The RPT continues to be a magnificent tribute to two very special people.”

David Verdi

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Newsgathering, NBC News

“We, at NBC News, are proud and honoured to support the Trust, these journalists and their families around the world.”

David Verdi joined NBC News in 1990 as a producer on “Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.” He served as Assistant News Director from 1992 to 1993, and Executive News Director from 1993 to 2005. David has 33 years of experience and is the recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award for the 2011 Best Video Newscast, “Iraq, The Long Way Out”, NBC News live coverage of the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. David has championed the Trust for many years, and his support led to NBC becoming the first broadcaster to make a long-term financial commitment to support the Trust.

“A free press, exposing injustice, brutality and private and governmental corruption, is essential in protecting the rights of individuals and societies around the world. Freelance journalists, at their own peril, are often at the forefront of this reporting. The Rory Peck Trust’s support of these freelancers and their families is vital to enabling this type of journalism. Without such support, truth and justice would be the casualties. When NBC News lost our freelance soundman outside of Fallujah Iraq in 2003, the Rory Peck Trust provided financial and emotional support to his family. We, at NBC News, are proud and honoured to support the Trust, these journalists and their families around the world.”

Adrian Wells

Managing Director, ENEX

“…who is there to help them when things go wrong? For nearly 20 years the answer to that question has been the Rory Peck Trust.”

Before joining ENEX, Adrian spent his career working for both BBC and Sky News. Previously he was Launch Director of Sky News Arabia, Head of Foreign News at Sky and has held various positions at BBC News, including World Assignments Editor and Middle East Bureau Chief. Adrian joined the Board of RPT Trustees in 2004 and was Chairman of the Trust from 2009 – 2011. During this time he encouraged the Trust to re-engage with its core community of supporters, both freelance and media and stepped up efforts for new sources of funding.

“Anyone working in international news knows that a good local fixer, driver, cameraman or journalist is the key to getting a good piece of journalism on the air or published. Freelancers, whether locally based or intrepid newsgatherers from abroad, are very often the first to a story. They break news without the support structures of big broadcasters, safety officers and 24 hour news desks to help them. But who is there to help them when things go wrong? For nearly 20 years the answer to that question has been the Rory Peck Trust. I’ve worked with the Trust for much of my professional life and am proud of the work they do. Often the most valuable contributions are behind the scenes and away from the headlines or awards ceremony. It’s vital that everyone in the industry continues to support the RPT.”

Tira Shubart

Freelance Producer and Writer

“Rory’s bravery and ability to be in the right places was more than matched by his charm and generosity of spirit.”

Tira first met Rory Peck in Bucharest during the Romanian Revolution in 1989.

Tira has worked as a news and documentary producer for British, Canadian and American television networks, and for Frontline News Television, covering stories in over 50 countries: the Iran-Iraq War, Nicaragua and the Contra War, the Soviet Coup of ’91, Iran War 1991, the Balkans, Yemen, Jordan, post-2003 Kurdistan, Somalia. Recently, Tira has worked extensively in East Africa. She co-authored the book “Lifting the Veil: Life in Revolutionary Iran” and has written for the UK and US press. Tira also wrote and produced a BBC comedy series about journalists,”Taking the Flak”. Tira has been on the Board of The Rory Peck Trust since 2000.

“Within a few hours of first meeting Rory, we were caught in several street battles, had commandeered the car of a fleeing Securitate officer after we fed our video to London, and then watched the National Library burn to the ground. By the end of that memorable week, Rory seemed to know everyone in Bucharest and all doors opened for him. Rory’s bravery and ability to be in the right places was more than matched by his charm and generosity of spirit. His career ended in Moscow in 2003, leaving a large Rory-shaped hole in our lives.”

Leanne Dmyterko

Senior Communications, Marketing and Events Manager

Originally from Canada, Leanne joined the Rory Peck Team after nine and a half years at One World Media, where she served as Deputy Director, leading on events and communications and working closely with the Director on fundraising, financial management and strategy. In her spare time, she is also Co-Director and Curator of the Gustav Metzger Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to stimulating social change through art. She has worked in the charity, arts and public sectors in the UK and abroad, including at the Canadian Space Agency, Camden Arts Centre and International Institute for Environment and Development. She has a BA in Anthropology with a specialisation in Journalism and Professional Writing from the University of Victoria, and an MA in Art History with a focus on globalisation from UCL in London.

Olivia Wilks

Syracuse University Communications and Awards Intern

Olivia is a third year undergraduate student majoring in Human Development and Family Studies at Syracuse University in upstate New York. She is currently based at Syracuse’s satellite London campus while gaining international work experience at the Trust.

Clothilde Redfern


As Director of the Rory Peck Trust, Clothilde is responsible for raising the profile of the Trust in the UK and internationally, building relationships to bolster our programmes and widen our reach. She works closely with the Board of Trustees and Advisory Committee to ensure freelance journalists are supported to work safely and professionally and can call on us should they need assistance in a crisis. Clothilde started her career in France working for the International Herald Tribune in Paris. After a year in Sydney working for Marie Claire Magazine, she moved to London in 2005 and joined the Media Trust’s production team, making documentaries for the Together Channel – of which she is now a proud shareholder. She then spent four years at Channel 4 working in the Documentaries department. Prior to joining the Rory Peck Trust she was the Director of One World Media, a non-profit organisation supporting journalists and filmmakers to report from developing countries. She has been a member of the advisory board for the Department of Media at Brunel University and currently sits on the Board of the ACOS Alliance.

Lauren Sproule

Digital Communications Officer

Lauren is new to the world of non-profit after working as a freelance multimedia journalist back home in Canada, as well as in London. She has been a reporter for rural newspapers and most recently a freelance associate producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Some of her written work has appeared in Canadian national publications The Globe and Mail and Broadview Magazine. In her spare time, she also works as a freelance television and event producer. Lauren has a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre with a minor in Creative Writing from York University and a Master’s of Journalism from Carleton University.

Lisya Yafet

Training Fund Manager

Lisya manages all requests to our training fund and produces our safety surgeries around the world. Her recent work focuses on supporting journalists and media makers internationally, through providing funding, training and mentoring. She has worked with the Barbican Centre, Open City Documentary Festival and DocumentarIst Istanbul Documentary Days, among others, as a programmer and coordinator. She also currently manages One World Media’s new talent projects, including their Fellowships, International Reporting Workshops and the Global Short Docs Forum. She has experience in commercial video production, and her latest short films are touring festivals worldwide. She has an MA in Film Studies, and a background in Political Science.