“Keeping journalists safe can be a difficult proposition,” the introduction to a new publication by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) states.
To ignite action against threats to free media, UNESCO recently published ‘An Attack on One is an Attack on All’, a report on “innovative, successful ways media companies, individual journalists and civil society organisations are coming together to improve journalist safety”. The report is a selection of 22 stories of proactive measures that have been undertaken to protect journalists from around the world.
One of the documented cases is the creation of a Pakistani WhatsApp group, Editors for Safety, used to report, confirm and collect evidence of abuse against journalists. It mobilises editors’ support and increases the publicity of abuse cases in order to ensure that crimes against journalists are not ignored and perpetrators are held to account.
In Kenya, Salim Amin, son of the intrepid Visnews cameraman Mohammed ‘Mo’Amin, is developing a 14-day hostile environment training module for journalists. Inspired by the legacy of his late father, Amin is campaigning for safety training to be included in journalism curricula in universities across his country.
The UNESCO report is not exhaustive in its documentation of efforts undertaken to protect journalists. The authors say that is a record of “some of the extraordinary efforts that are being taken on their (journalists’) behalf. It provides examples of what can be done, presenting approaches to safety that could be duplicated in other countries and cultures, some admittedly more easily than others.”
Visit the UNESCO website to read the full report, ‘An Attack on One is an Attack on All’.