Launching the News Organizations Safety Self-Assessment

2019-04-04. The News Organizations Safety Self-Assessment is a new resource that will help news outlets to review and improve their current safety practices and protocols. The Self-Assessment comprises a brief set of key questions and guideline notes that should prompt a constructive conversation around safety best practices and encourage practical and effective ways to advance such practices. The Self-Assessment supports news organizations to identify and better understand their own weaknesses and strengths in relation to the security of all individuals working for them exposed to danger, including freelancers.

by Vincent Peyrègne | April 4, 2019

This resource is a collaboration between the ACOS Alliance, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, Free Press Unlimited, Frontline Freelance Register, the International Federation of Journalists, International News Safety Institute, International Media Support, International Press Institute, the International Women’s Media Foundation, and WAN-IFRA, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.

The resource pays special attention to gender issues, mental health care, digital security needs and working with freelancers and fixers, aspects which are often neglected in organizational policy and protocols. The Self-Assessment includes links to relevant articles, reports, guides, and other existing resources, as well as a basic glossary.

The organizations involved in this initiative recognize the crucial role that news managers, publishers, executive directors, and editors play in advancing a culture of safety, and have come together in partnership to create and promote this useful tool.

“Although this is a resource primarily aimed at news management, we encourage anyone in the news chain to use these guidelines to learn more about their organization’s safety provisions and start a productive conversation around safety issues,” Elisabet Cantenys, Executive Director of the ACOS Alliance, said. “Keeping safety protocols relevant is a major challenge for most news organizations. Here we offer a practical and useful tool, which we hope will take us a step closer towards embedding a culture of safety.

“Aside from the moral imperative to protect all the individuals who contribute to a news product,” Cantenys continued, “investing in a robust safety policy and protocols can save an organization from the financial loss and reputational damage of a crisis that could have been prevented, or could have been carefully managed.”

The News Organizations Safety Self-Assessment can be downloaded from the ACOS Alliance website. You can also access this resource from most partner organizations’ websites working on this initiative, including here.

Between now and World Press Freedom Day, May 3, we will be making the Self-Assessment available in five additional languages: Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and Portuguese. These translations were contributed by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The development of this resource was made possible with the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation and the Open Society Foundations.


ACOS – Elisabet Cantenys,

WAN-IFRA – Andrew Heslop,

Vincent Peyrègne

Vincent Peyrègne took up duties as Chief Executive Officer of WAN-IFRA in 2012. Prior to joining WAN-IFRA, he was Head of Development at Edipresse in Switzerland (now Tamedia) with responsibility for audience insights, editorial marketing research and product development, before joining the office of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

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