Staying safe in pursuit of the story

Since the birth of YouTube little over five years ago as an internationally free and accessible online video platform, and the increasing cheapness and availability of recording equipment, the aspiration to be an online video journalist is realisable to many. VJs often work independently, as freelancers or stringers, and supporting themselves means obtaining footage that no one else has, or that gets closest to the story. One of the side effects of the increased number of VJs therefore [see post How online video journalism has become a celebrated medium] is pressure to take greater risks.

The following organisations provide a wide range of services accessible online to journalists who are preparing to enter war zones and unsafe environments or who have been working within them and met with difficulties. Resources available range across advice on freelancer friendly insurance, accessing funds for hostile territory training, hotlines for journalists in need of immediate advice, and support for the families of journalists who have been imprisoned or killed.

Rory Peck Trust

Tel: 00 44 (0)20 7730 1411

  • funds for journalists and their families in crisis
  • funds for safety training to journalists in need
  • insurance information

The International News Safety Institute (INSI)

Tel: 00 44 (0) 7766 814274 or 00 44 (0) 7734 709267

  • funds for safety training to journalists in need
  • equipment information
  • insurance information
  • safety resources

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

Tel: 001 212-465-1004

Reporters without Borders/ Reporters sans Frontières

Tel: 00 33 1 44 83 84 84

  • funds for journalists and their families in crisis
  • equipment information
  • insurance information
  • safety resources
  • emergency hotline

Media Defence Initiative

Tel: 00 44 (0) 207 0310 215

  • legal support

DArt Centre for Trauma

Tel: 00 44 (0) 20 3239 7133

  • safety resources
  • journalist-to-journalist advice

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

Tel: 00 32 2-235 22 00

Laura Heighton-Ginns

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