Training on journalistic safety is essential, especially for media workers operating under challenging – often life-threatening – conditions. In collaboration with international partners, Free Press Unlimited supports (media) organisations and media workers with safety training.
We believe that the different aspects of safety, physical, digital, psycho-social, and legal safety, are equally important and interrelated. Our various training programmes therefore address these different aspects of safety.
Examples of safety trainings so far
Safety Training in Central America
To prepare journalists for emergency situations and violence, we teamed up with Fundación Latitudes to develop a series of holistic training courses. The courses addressed the physical aspects of safety, practical preparations, and psychological preparation and mental resilience. Read more about this project.
We also spoke with one of the trainers, you can read that story here.
Medical Safety Training in Iraq
Journalists who report from a war zone expose themselves to great risks. They need specific training that covers all battlefield aspects. The courses that we gave covered, amongst others, the following aspects: emergency medical assistance in the field, battlefield awareness as well as risk assessment, wounds caused by improvised explosive devices (IED's) and chemical weapons safety. In partnership with War Zone Freelance Project (WZF) and the Rory Peck Trust, Free Press Unlimited organised two medical safety training courses in Erbil, Iraq. Read more about this project.
This online learning platform offers modules about digital security to help journalists and human rights defenders use digital security and privacy tools. By using TOTEM, they can learn how to work more safely online and be more effective in their work. TOTEM was developed in cooperation with Greenhost and the digital security community at large. Interested in enrolling in one of the modules or want more information, visit the TOTEM website.
In a one week training course, investigative journalists are trained in investigating and uncovering tax abuse, money laundering and corruption. Free Press Unlimited offers a curriculum for digital security that is specifically aimed at investigative journalists working in sensitive contexts. The course focuses on advanced digital security techniques and methods to stay “under the radar” during investigations. This includes security for your devices and online activities. It demonstrates how you can secure both the actors in your investigation and the investigation itself by improving your risk assessment and security skills. Read more about this project.
Online safety for female journalists in Pakistan
Pakistan holds a dire position as one of the most hostile media climates in the world. Journalists, in particular female journalists, experience an increased risk of violence, attack and censorship. Reason enough to support our partner Digital Rights Foundation in setting up a Network of Journalists for Digital Rights. The network currently consists of 90 female members, who have received basic and advanced training workshops on digital security. Amongst others, the trainings focus on ethical journalism, fake news, investigative reporting, journalist safety and digital security, as well as empowering the members of the network to report on digital rights within Pakistan. Read more about this project.
Secure Whistleblowing Platforms
Digital surveillance technologies used by governments and criminals are a threat to press freedom and freedom of expression. Free Press Unlimited's leaks platform Publeaks allows whistleblowers and journalists to communicate privately, anonymously and safely.
The Publeaks technology improves security for journalists and their sources. Whistleblowers remain anonymous and choose which of the participating media and civil society organisations they wish to communicate their information to. After that, it is up to the receiving parties to undertake the important task of deciding on the relevance of tips and to verify the information. Stories will only be published after thorough research. This way, the public gets to hear about matters which the authorities, powerful businesses and criminal gangs want to keep under wraps.
Publeaks platforms are currently implemented in four countries: Mexico (Méxicoleaks), Nigeria (Leaks.ng), Indonesia (Indonesialeaks) and the Netherlands (Publeaks NL). The Publeaks mission is to connect whistleblowers with the media, no matter who they are.
Support by other organisations
Besides Free Press Unlimited, there are also organisations that offer different types of support to journalists, human rights defenders (HRDs), civil society organisations (CSOs), and a variety of other actors who may be at risk as a direct result of their work. The type of support that is available may range from financial support, to legal advice, to temporary shelter. You can find an overview here.