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ABU News launches journalist safety guides

ABU News has produced three guides on journalist safety to help reduce risks for reporters and crews covering natural disasters, demonstrations, riots and in large crowds.

Journalist Safety – Protests is for reporters and crews covering protests, demonstrations and riots. It emphasises the importance of preparation, clear identification, protective clothing and emergency contacts. The guide also encourages journalists to familiarise themselves with the local area, laws and security environment before the event, and to remain neutral and observant while it is underway.

Journalist Safety – Disasters  is for reporters and crews in disaster zones. It recommends specialised disaster reporting training, risk assessments and protective gear. Journalists are advised to have an evacuation plan in place and to work with a “buddy” to ensure mutual safety.

Journalist Safety – General offers advice ranging from understanding local laws to having secure transport, maintaining digital security and prioritising mental health.

Members are encouraged to assign responsibility for risk reduction and to prioritise journalist safety – especially when planning reporting assignments.

A 2022 UNESCO report on journalist safety found more than 30 percent of all journalist killings occurred in the Asia Pacific region. It also noted an increase in the number of journalists killed while covering protests.

The guides can be downloaded from the ABU website and shared with colleagues.

By Maiki Tissera