Applications open for fully subsidised VR training

This masterclass run by Head Set aims to empower journalists, improving their physical and emotional safety in environments of civil unrest.

The safety and protection of journalists is the Trust’s primary focus. Now, for the first time, we are opening up our Training Fund to new courses that will provide additional valuable skills and preparedness to complement traditional hostile environment training. 

To celebrate the launch of our new partnership with Head Set, we are offering six freelance journalists based in the UK a fully subsidised place on their Civil Unrest VR masterclass. The masterclass is a half-day training course providing a virtual reality experience that is emotionally evocative, interactive and immersive, so you feel what it’s like to be on the ground covering public disorder. It covers the basics of risk assessment, situational awareness and an important psychological element called ‘building your emotional flak jacket’. 

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen increasing attacks against journalists in situations of civil unrest. There have been numerous attacks against journalists, from those covering the ‘Gillet Jaune’ protests in France to those covering the American election and those reporting from Black Lives Matter demonstrations. At the same time, the pandemic has forced us to consider the best way to deliver training online. And Head Set, co-founded by two journalists who turned to providing training for journalists using the latest technologies, has found a solution.

It’s a rare opportunity for journalists to attend a VR masterclass, which integrates mental and physical safety, remotely (VR headsets are loaned and delivered to you for the course). If you’d like to apply to be part of the course, taking place from 9am-1.30pm on Wednesday 28th April, please complete the application form below.

Please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this opportunity is only open to freelance journalists based in the UK. 

Head Set’s VR training tool was developed with government funding from Innovate UK, and co-designed with high-risk experts from BBC, CNN, ITN, Vice, Reuters and AFP.