RPT signs up to "Freelance Journalist Safety Principles"

 RPT signs up to "Freelance Journalist Safety Principles"
Thursday, 12 February 2015 Written by Rory Peck Trust

The Rory Peck Trust today joined more than twenty news organisations and journalist groups to endorse a new set of international safety standards for freelancers on dangerous assignments.

The "Freelance Journalist Safety Principles" released today at an event at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in New York, presents seven basic standards for freelance journalists on dangerous assignments, including first aid and hostile environment training, securing medical insurance for conflict zones or areas of infectious disease and the importance of having appropriate protective gear, such as vests and helmets.

It also lays out a parallel set of seven basic standards for news organisations who commission them, assigning them a "moral responsibility" to "support journalists to whom they give assignments in dangerous areas, as long as the freelancer complies with the rules and instructions of the news organisation."
 

Protocol calls for shared commitment to safety

The protocols have been drafted in response to an unprecedented rate of intimidation, abduction, and killing of journalists around the world and calls for staff and freelance journalists and the news organisations they work with “to actively join in a shared commitment to safety and a new spirit of collegiality and concern."

"We welcome these protocols as an acknowledgement of the vital role that freelancers play in global newsgathering and the responsibilities that we all share in providing them with adequate protection and resources", said Tina Carr, director of the Rory Peck Trust. "It is a good first step in what we hope will be a developing commitment to safety and protection by freelancers themselves and from all who work with them."  

"The role of freelancers in reporting conflict and crisis around the world has grown in significance, even as threats rise," said Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, who announced the protocols. "The news companies, freelance organisations and advocacy groups who came together to support these guidelines all understand that we are in a crisis which demands action."
 
The current signatory organisations are:

2LIVES: Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation
ABC News
Afghan Journalists Safety Committee
Agence France-Presse
Al-Monitor
American Society of Journalists and Authors
Article 19
Association of European Journalists (Bulgaria)
The Associated Press
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)
Belarusian Association of Journalists
Blink
Bloomberg
British Broadcasting Corporation
Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma
CBS News Center for Journalism and Public Ethics (Mexico)
CNN Committee to Protect Journalists
Danish Union of Journalists
Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma
Ena News Agency
European Federation of Journalists
Foreign Correspondents' Club (Hong Kong)
Foro de Periodismo Argentino
Free Press Unlimited
Frontline Club
Frontline Freelance Register
The Frontliner (Albania)
German Press Agency dpa
Global Journalist Security
GlobalPost
Global Radio News
Globo TV
The GroundTruth Project
Guardian News and Media Group
International Center for Journalists
International Federation of Journalists
International News Safety Institute
International Press Institute
International Women's Media Foundation
Iraqi Journalists Rights Defense Association
James W. Foley Legacy Foundation
Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (Iraq)
Journalists in Danger (Kazakhstan)
Kyodo News
Mashable
McClatchy DC
Medill School of Journalism
Miami Herald
National Press Club
National Press Photographers Association
National Union of Journalists-Philippines
NBC News
Newsweek
NOS News (Netherlands)
Online News Association
Overseas Press Club of America
Overseas Press Club Foundation
Pakistan Press Foundation
PayDesk
Periodistas de a Pie (Mexico)
PBS Frontline
Press Emblem Campaign (Switzerland)
Public Radio International's The World
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues
Reporters Without Borders
Reuters
Round Earth Media
Rory Peck Trust
Security First (UK)
Society of Professional Journalists
Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)
Storyhunter
Trauma Training for Journalists
Union of Journalists in Finland
Union of Journalists in Israel
Union of Journalists of South Sudan
USA Today
Vice News
Video News (Japan)
Women Photojournalists of Washington
Words After War
The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA)
Zuma Press
 
News organisations, journalist associations or advocacy groups interested in joining the guidelines should contact David Rohde, david.rohde@thomsonreuters.com

Image: Mstyslav Chernov, used here under a Creative Commons licence.

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