Journalists around the world face numerous challenges in their line of duty, and safety has become one of the most discussed subject in the media community.
Many of the media organisations didn’t have any policies or S.O.Ps to safeguard their employees who risk their lives to report the stories related to the public interest.
According to one U.N report, one average, one journalist dies in every four days. To highlight this issue on a regional canvas, AIBD organised an online media dialogue on policy matters related to safety for journalists on 21 January 2021. This event was the first activity of AIBD’s planned regional activities on safety for journalists which are being held under UNESCO’s IPDC programme in 2021. Over 234 media practitioner from 22 countries attended the event.
The main aim of this dialogue was to bring regional media leaders, policy makers, experts and media practitioners together to share ideas, experiences and knowledge. Through this dialogue, participating experts explored the various challenges related to safety of journalists, for their perusal towards freedom of
speech, cyber threats, mental health, etc.
Mr. Alistair Hollington, safety consultant from United Kingdom delivered his presentation on preparation and risk assessment and why media organisations should be concerned about the safety of their on-field crew. He presented various case studies on the subject.
Dr. Abeer Sa’ady, an Egyptian journalist and trainer, shared stories of women journalists who often experience harassments and attacks as a journalist and as a woman.
Mr. Philip Victor, Managing Director of Welchman Keen and cybersecurity expert highlighted various digital threats faced by the journalists and how an effective organizational policy on digital safety can avoid most of the challenges.
Matt Brown, Deputy Editor of Australian Broadcasting Corporation, said that news organizations should ensure there is a “culture of health, safety and well-being” and employees should be encouraged to report potential safety issues to their employer.
Other speakers were Mr Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director of the International press Centre in Nigeria, Mr Alexei Orlov, head of radio broadcasting, Sputnik Russia and Professor Surya Prakash from National Institute of Disaster Management, India.