On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) launched its risk assessment tool designed to help journalists and media workers better prepare for risky assignments. The platform safety4journalists.org was presented on 3 May in Brussels during the final conference of the Safety4Journalists project.
The website has been developed by safety experts with experience in training journalists, media workers and media managers. Journalists completing the survey will receive customised advice to help mitigate the risks that they might face during a specific assignment, along with rapid response mechanisms. They are also able to visualise these risks and download templates (personal pro-forma, cost price analysis, travel plans, communication plans, etc).
A Safety Handbook offers further in-depth information on a wide range of topics, such as pre-assignment planning, de-escalation, conflicts and demonstrations, health and medical disasters, or harassment in the workplace.
In addition to the tool and the handbook, training modules on risk assessment, gender safety, freelance self-sufficiency, digital risks and demonstrations will soon be published on the website. Complementing the risk assessment tool, the online modules will provide in-depth guidelines on health and safety situations at the workplace.
“It is the first step in a long development process. We want journalists need to be proactive, not reactive. This platform is aimed at journalists who want to build their personal capacity to assess the risks associated with their tasks. Our intention is to provide them with tailor-made practical tools to also mitigate these risks,” said EFJ safety expert Adrien Collin.
Media safety expert David Bevan, who contributed to the development of the platform, added: “Without mitigation measures, how can journalists effectively operate in the field? They can’t: if they don’t plan, they prepare to fail. They can rely on luck, on somebody intervening, but they have to create their own solutions. This tool will help to find them.”
The platform was developed as part of the Safety4journalist project, which received the financial support of the European Commission.