Risk & Safety Helpdesk

Our Risk & Safety Helpdesk provides expert advice
where and when journalists need it.

Are you planning to report on protests, human trafficking, conflict or corruption? Will you be covering a story in a high-risk or hostile environment? Have you completed a Risk Assessment but not had a chance to discuss it with anyone?

Our Risk & Safety Helpdesk was developed in collaboration with RiskPal to help freelance journalists around the world deliver their assignments safely. A team of highly experienced safety advisors are on hand to answer all your questions –  big or small – and more about how to get the story and protect yourself when out in the field. 

Some examples of topics covered include:

  • Protecting sources on the ground
  • PPE – what should you take and how do you get it across borders
  • Digital security – how to protect yourself online and keep your data secure
  • Insurance – what to ask your commissioner before you go to ensure you’re covered
  • How to find a safe place to stay in a dangerous area

Freelance journalist KC Cheng had this to say about her experience using the Helpdesk:

The strongest take-homes were a good reminder on digital security & helpful geographic tailoring. I absolutely would recommend the Helpdesk to other freelancers. It’s great to have everything I need to think about, in one place!

How does it work?

1. Click the button below to check in. You’ll need to provide basic details about your upcoming assignment and safety concerns or questions. Please note that you MUST have a confirmed assignment to be eligible to use the helpdesk.

2. We’ll match you with an industry-leading security expert who will provide you with private, tailored safety advice during a one-to-one consultation online. Guidance can be provided on physical, digital, psychological or legal risks that you might encounter on the ground, as well as on risk assessments and planning.


In order to be eligible to use the Helpdesk, you must:

  • be planning a specific reporting assignment in the next couple of months;
  • be planning to report on protests or civil unrest; OR
  • think your story may have implications for your safety.

You must also meet all of the following criteria to apply to use the Helpdesk:

  • Must be a freelance journalist who does not have a regular salary or retainer;
  • Must have been actively working as a freelance journalist for at least the last 12 months;
  • Do not have access to safety advisors through the outlet commissioning your story.

Please note: The number of consultations available is limited and spaces will be allocated following an assessment of individual circumstances.

The Helpdesk is supported by