May 20, 2015

Tips for Ukrainian reporters covering conflict and free safety manuals for journalists

A lot of journalists everyday risk their lives to report what is happening in risk areas. Fighting and wars raging across Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia, involve especially local reporters.

The Committee to Protect Journalists refers that nearly nine in 10 work-related fatalities since 1992 involved journalists covering news in their own country. Moreover, more than 95 percent of journalists jailed worldwide are local reporters, photojournalists, bloggers and editors.

The International Journalists’ Network, inspired by the story of a Ukrainian reporter, Anton Skyba, published a list of manuals, resources and guidelines for journalists covering conflicts. Each of them is available online.

  • Journalists Safety Guide: Covering the News in a Dangerous and Changing World – Committee to Protect Journalists. Handbook has a section on domestic journalism and deals with practical issues such as approaching checkpoints and hostile subjects. Available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, Somali, Farsi, Portuguese and Chinese.
  • Handbook for Journalists – Reporters Without Borders. Lists of useful tips and excellent chapter on safety behind the lines. Available in English, French, Urdu and Kurdish.
  • IWPR Training Manual – Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Contains chapter on journalist safety and is available in English, Arabic, Russian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Tajik.
  • Disaster and Crisis Coverage – International Center for Journalists. Contains chapters on managing crisis coverage, reporting crises and staying safe.
  • SEEMO Safety Net Manual – South East Europe Media Organization. Includes chapter on reporting during demonstrations, social unrest and other violent situations. Twelve different language versions available for all SEEMO countries.
  • The Journalist Survival Guide – SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom at the Samir Kassir Foundation. The guide will prepare you for action in case of a tear gas attack, shooting, injury and other risks. Available in English and Arabic.
  • Reporting Atrocities: A Toolbox for Journalists Covering Violent Conflict and Atrocities – Internews. The 7-chapter guide features a whole section on practical strategies for keeping yourself safe in a warzone.
  • Tragedies and Journalists – Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The free PDF lists ways for journalists to battle the psychological effects of covering traumatic events.

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