Basic preparedness: Risk assessment

September 10, 2018 7:00 AM
Artwork: Jack Forbes

Decisions journalists make in the field have direct bearing on their safety and that of others. The risks inherent in covering war, political unrest, and crime can never be eliminated, but careful planning and risk assessment can mitigate the dangers.

Written risk assessments should document the dangers a journalist may be exposed to, assess how to mitigate those risks, and include a contingency plan. If done correctly, a risk assessment serves not only journalist , but anyone nominated to assist him or her if something goes wrong. An assessment should be prepared for any potentially dangerous assignment and revised frequently. Each assessment should be tailored to a particular situation.

Risks to identify may include:

A risk assessment should take into consideration:


For additional information and risk assessment templates, visit CPJ's Resource Center.

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