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Working together for freelance safety

Working together for freelance safety

RPT's Elisabet Cantenys reports back from Washington DC's National Press Club where freelance safety was top of the agenda. 

I was in Washington DC in April where a coalition of media organisations, media assistance NGOs, charities and freelance organisations gathered with one thing in mind: how to improve freelancers' safety worldwide.  This coalition, which was formed around the Call for Global Safety Principles and Practices, got together at the National Press Club to participate in public panel debates on the threats facing freelancers and to co-ordinate concrete actions that will enhance the safety of freelancers and local journalists.

The Call already has 60 signatories, but more importantly, it is generating discussions within media organisations and among freelancers.  The Washington event was lively, and the two panel debates covered four key issues: resources, training, insurance and pay.  All of these play a factor in keeping freelancers safe.

So what next - how do we move from good intentions to concrete actions?

The Rory Peck Trust is taking a leading role co-ordinating next steps, and supporting efforts to create a Task Group that will work on implementing the Call in a workable and practical way.  We had a good meeting in Washington that revealed a commitment and a sense of purpose that will help to move things forward.  There is a genuine desire from all parties to affect change, but we need to keep the momentum going.

The Trust has a long history working with, and supporting, freelancers all over the world but the job's not getting any easier. After twenty years we are getting more requests for our assistance than ever before. Today, the challenges that freelancers face are larger than any one organisation. It is time to put our collective brains together. 

  • News organisations, journalist associations, advocacy groups and freelance journalists interested in signing up to the guidelines should contact David Rohde, email: david.rohde@thomsonreuters.com
  • Those interested in joining the Task Group please contact Elisabet Cantenys, email: elisabet@rorypecktrust.org
     
Elisabet Cantenys is Head of Programmes at the Rory Peck Trust.

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