The #safetystream conversation continues today

The #safetystream conversation continues today
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 Written by Andrew Ford Lyons

Yesterday we piloted our first online webinar series, #safetystream, with the Frontline Club and Frontline Freelance Register. The conversation is still ongoing today.

Yesterday's trio of great panel discussions offered guidance and debate on risk assessments, communications plans and digital security. 

Doing a Risk Assessment 

In this session:
James Brabazon, freelance journalist and filmmaker
Steve Cook, Director of Media Support and Operations at TYR Solutions
Elisabet Cantenys, Head of Programmes for Rory Peck Trust


Creating a Communications Plan 

In this session:
James Brabazon, also a Rory Peck Trust trustee and co-author of the RPT risk assessment and communication plan templates
Emma Beals, freelance journalist and Frontline and Freelance Register governing committee member
Max Riley-Gould, Researcher for Rory Peck Trust


Practicing digital and mobile security 

In this session:
Kim Pham, digital security consultant
Runa A. Sandvik, Developer, Security Researcher, and Translation Coordinator for the Tor Project
Andrew Lyons, Digital Producer for Rory Peck Trust

These are conversations that should be ongoing and bring in more voices over time. They were quick introductions, but they highlight the importance for freelancers to prepare themselves and be realistic about the potential risks that are involved. The videos were live, but you can catch each session below, along with the Twitter conversation through the #safetystream hashtag.

James Brabazon is a freelance journalist and co-author of our own risk assessment templates. He joined Steve Cook, of TYR Solutions, to look at risk assessments, and what freelancers tend to overlook when preparing to go into a hostile environment. Getting some first aid training is a must, both agreed. Research of the region and an understanding of your own motivations for going are vital.

In the next segment, freelancer Emma Beals took the chair next to James to answer questions about producing a solid communications plan, to keep safety contacts in the loop. Having a dedicated point person on hand with correct information about what you're doing can reduce the amount of time it takes to find you (should things go wrong) from days down to hours.

We wrapped up with a session on digital security with Kim Pham, a digital security consultant, and Tor Project developer and researcher Runa Sandvik. This raised a good conversation on the Twitter hashtag about the risks inherent to using voice over internet tools like Skype. We also covered how to back up files securly, and what to look for in a "burner phone".

They're all worth a watch and should help you with your own preparations for your next assignment. You  can also continue to post comments and questioons to the #safetystream hashtag on Twitter.

You can find our resources on risk assessments, communication plans and digital security here, as well as by following the links below.


Photo at top of (from left) Elisabet Cantenys, Steve Cook and  James Brabazon answering questions about risk assessments for freelance journalists.

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