News organisations stand up for safety of media professionals

The search for concrete ways to improve the safety of journalists and end impunity in the crimes against media professionals will be the focus of a UNESCO conference in Paris this Friday, 5 February, organised in partnership the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and several other representative media organisations.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | February 2, 2016

Registration has been closed now, but you can follow the live-stream (in English) on the day, from 10:00 to 17:30. The official conference hashtags are #Journosafe and #Endimpunity on Twitter, and the full programme can be downloaded here.

The Committee to Protect Journalists reported 71 media professionals were killed on the job last year. One month into 2016, a camera operator and a broadcast reporter lost their lives in Iraq’s Diyala province, leaving behind their wives and children.

“More and more people are becoming aware of the extreme toll paid by journalists in the pursuit of their profession. And the importance to enhance the safety of journalists, and to tackle impunity for crimes against them,” Mehdi Benchelah, Senior Project Officer at UNESCO told the World Editors Forum.

This Friday is a unique opportunity to do just that. The day will foster dialogue on security issues with a view to reducing the high number of casualties in the profession. “Gathering key actors from the media industry from very different horizons and allowing the sharing of information between them is essential to create momentum,” Benchelah adds.

Over 200 participants will be discussing good practices on a wide range of measures including safety protocols in newsrooms, training to improve physical, psychological, and digital security, innovative protective measures for reporting from dangerous areas, and international and local media partnerships.

The diversity of the media represented, in terms of geography, size and type of threat encountered, is unprecedented, with participants coming from Africa, the Arab States, Asia and latin America. This is particularly important as more than 95% of the 700+ journalists killed in the last decade were local reporters and correspondents, according to UNESCO data.

Registration has been closed, but there will be a live-stream (in English) on the day, from 10:00 to 17:30. The official conference hashtags are #Journosafe and #Endimpunity on Twitter.

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