Safety Notes

2018

  
Artwork: Jack Forbes

Digital safety: Protecting against online harassment

Journalists are frequently at risk of being targeted online for their work. Media workers who cover issues such as the alt-right, politics and contentious elections, as well as movements linked to race or gender are at higher risk of being attacked online.

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Artwork: Jack Forbes

Nothing to Declare: CPJ’s advice for journalists crossing a U.S. border

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) has authority to search electronic devices without warrant or probable cause. Civil liberties groups are challenging this power in court, but journalists should be aware that current practice risks exposing contacts, sourcing, and reporting material contained on laptops, phones, and other devices.

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Artwork: Jack Forbes

Physical safety: Civil disorder

Reporting on crowd violence or mobs can be dangerous, and every year journalists are injured covering such stories.

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Artwork: Jack Forbes

Basic preparedness: Risk assessment

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.

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Artwork: Jack Forbes

Physical safety: Terrorist attacks

The dynamics of a terrorist attack are fluid and threats can materialize quickly–from explosions and gunmen to knife attacks, vehicular attacks, or sieges.

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Artwork: Jack Forbes

Psychological safety

Journalists are as vulnerable to psychological trauma as they are to physical and digital threats. Approaching these threats holistically and preparing accordingly not only enhances your overall safety, but helps to protect your colleagues and sources.

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Artwork: Jack Forbes

Digital safety

Journalists should be aware of the dangers of digital attacks, including through hacking, phishing, and surveillance, and should take steps to protect themselves, their sources, and their work.

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Artwork: Jack Forbes

Physical safety: Natural disasters and extreme weather

The dynamics of a natural disaster or extreme weather event are fluid and threats can materialize quickly. Journalists should research potential threats associated with the event they are covering and prepare accordingly.

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First aid videos

Journalists face the risk of serious injuries while on both dangerous and routine assignments. In situations when emergencies lead to severe injury, journalists should be prepared to deal with medical complications in order reduce the severity of injuries and to save both their lives and the lives of their colleagues.

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2018