Personal safety and security

This lesson will equip trainees with basic knowledge on how to enhance personal security in the course of duty owing to the risks journalist face during their work. This will focus on the following;

  •  Understanding the operation environment
  • Situational and risk assessment
  • Understanding opposing and supportive forces
  • Reacting to threats
  • Personal safety efforts

Good journalism is not hard to find or even achieve. However, it is common knowledge that journalist are an ‘endangered species’.  Serial threats to journalism are forcing many out of the newsroom for greener pasture and this is attributed to safety issues to lives of reporters.

On average, over 100 journalists are murdered every year, and the assailants go unpunished in nearly nine out of 10 cases. Media rights organizations also report that hundreds of journalists each year are attacked, threatened, or harassed.

Also, hundreds of journalists are detained over issues relating to their jobs. In fact, some are either held in communicado or detained without charge.

Also, journalism is among the top most stressful jobs, and in the course of duty, journalists face emotional stress when covering stories involving pain or loss of life, from the sexual abuse of children to terrorist attacks against civilians.

The advancement in technology has also made journalism susceptible to cyber-attack and harassment, these and more are some of the key measures reporters need to guard against as they take the on jobs and particular assignments.

Note this.

  • Prepare your mind, body and spirit for challenging situations and garner emotional control over them
  • Do background research into the history, culture and geography of an area you are going to
  • Locate allies and people you are likely to work with in case of any situation. These may include; fellow journalists, humanitarian workers, police and sister security organization
  • Identify potential service providers of your life essentials in case need arises.
  • Take all the necessary health precautions in case of any health existing conditions
  • Workout, fitness and exercise build resistance to stress
  • Don’t forget domestic matters: Set time aside for family, friends or loved ones
  • Be sure you are ready to go: If you are feeling pressured to go, and it simply doesn’t feel like emotionally the right time, then consider turning down