Journalism – “The activity or profession of writing for newspapers or magazines or of broadcasting news on radio or television.”
Providing journalistic coverage in a conflict zone is easily one of the most hazardous tasks a civilian can carry out, and the journalists that go the extra mile and strive to give us the latest news in these hostile environments are often greatly under-appreciated. Whilst in the past, journalists, or ‘the press’ were invariably avoided by either side, with the recent beheading of journalists in Syria by Daesh, there is an increased emphasis on the immediate and physical dangers that should be recognised.
It may be a cliché, but there is no harm in repeating it: no story is worth a human life.
When covering a conflict, as a member of the media there are several difficulties that can arise and a journalist can help themselves by ensuring they are prepared for each one. The below media safety guide, written by our Head of Special Projects, Phil Webster, is the perfect guide for any members of the media who are planning to travel to a hostile environment due to work.
The guide sets out rules for covering conflicts and give details on safety equipment. The predominant theme of the document is that the safety of journalists is paramount. This includes not just those covering the conflict in the Middle East and the seemingly endless warfare in Africa. It includes the modern risk of hostage-taking, a real and growing threat in Iraq today, Latin America and Asia, and the increasing frequency of violent street demonstrations and protests that have wrought havoc from Syria to London.