Lima, Peru, July 11, 2005—The Committee to Protect Journalists today released a Spanish-language version of its journalist security handbook, "On Assignment: A Guide to Reporting in Dangerous Situations." Frank Smyth, CPJ's journalist security coordinator and author of the handbook, officially launched the new edition at a press conference here.
As part of the release, a panel of experts joined Smyth to discuss journalist security issues. They included investigative reporter Gustavo Goritti, president of the Pruvian press freedom group, Instituto Prensa y Sociedad, and editor with Peru's La Republica; Carolina Cayazzo, Buenos Aires bureau chief for CNN en Español; and Alejandro Miró Quesada, president of the Inter American Press Association, an organization of publishers headquartered in Miami.
The new edition updates the material in CPJ's handbook, first published in 2003, and addresses issues of particular concern to journalists in Latin America. The edition, made possible by a grant from CNN, is available online as a PDF file that can be printed or downloaded. Click here to read handbook.
Journalists in Latin America have long been targets for their critical reporting. In May, CPJ named Colombia one of the world's "Most Murderous Countries" for journalists. Eleven journalists have been murdered there since 2000 for reporting on drugs, illegal armed groups, and local corruption.
The Spanish edition of CPJ's handbook provides a comprehensive overview of security issues, as well as resources and practical information on topics such as assessing potentially dangerous situations, minimizing risk, developing contingency plans, obtaining insurance, and understanding local culture and language.
Smyth, who compiled the guide in consultation with CPJ staff and journalists worldwide, has covered conflicts in El Salvador, Colombia, Rwanda, Sudan, and Iraq. He travels to Bogota later this week to discuss CPJ's new handbook.