Friday, August 16, 2013

CPJ's Guide Addresses Risks To Journalists

Protests in Egypt




In the early hours of August 14, 61-year-old Mick Deane, a veteran with UK’s Sky News was killed. He was shot dead while covering protests by supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi as the military charged. With Deane was Xpress journalist Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz (26), although Abd Elaziz was not officially on duty. Many journalists were injured.

On October 29 last year, Somaia Ibrahim Ismail, also known as ‘Hundosa,’ was kidnapped by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS). She was tortured for three days for opposing Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir. Her jailers shaved her hair. She was told it was because ‘it looked like the hair of Arabs and she belonged to the slaves in Darfur,’” said RSF in a statement on her ordeal.

“Always, constantly, constantly, every minute, weigh the benefits against the risks. And as soon as you come to the point where you feel uncomfortable with that equation, get out, go, leave. It’s not worth it,” wrote Terry Anderson, the former Associated Press Middle East correspondent who was held hostage in Beirut for nearly seven years, “There is no story worth getting killed for.”

But journalists do get killed and injured while covering wars, or tortured, threatened and murdered when they deal with ruthless dictators. Others suffer the consequences of reporting natural and man-made disasters. There are other forms of insecurity too: In an increasingly digitised world, journalists communicate using the internet and store data in places where they can be hacked.

In a bid to address the often interrelated issues of (in)security for journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has published a Journalists Security Guide. Written by Frank Smyth, CPJ’s senior security advisor with a chapter on information security by Danny O’Brian, CPJ’s internet advocacy coordinator, the guide provides thoughtful, concise tips to journalists and journalism students.  

You can access the document here

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