Winning for you at work


Forgotten Password?
  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Advice to NUJ members reporting on civil unrest around UK

Advice to NUJ members reporting on civil unrest around UK

9 August 2011

NUJ members working tonight covering the current civil unrest within the UK need to plan accordingly and take appropriate precautions - there may be a range of people hostile to journalists.

There have already been instances of journalists attacked: London riots: Sky, ITN and CNN reporters attacked (The Guardian, 9 August 2011). 

Should the civil unrest continue it is likely that similar behaviour will be repeated if participants are being filmed or photographed and journalists may also be injured as a result of the violence aimed at the police and/or their proximity to premises being attacked.

Carry a copy of the NUJ's and Thompson solicitors emergency phone numbers in case you need help:

Thompsons operate a 24-hour EMERGENCY number for work-related criminal matters 0800 587 7530

Here are some tips and advice –

  • Always carry your press card in an accessible place and use it to identify yourself.
  • Always carry a map so you can check alternative routes and exit points.
  • Leave yourself time to drive the route to check for places for good pictures, trouble spots, level of policing, exit routes.
  • If you are parking a car, think carefully where you leave it, as you might need to get out in a hurry.
  • If you park too close to the unrest your car could get damaged or blocked if there is trouble.
  • If you are a freelance on commission, are you insured by the media organisation?
  • Wear strong boots or shoes and strong, tight-fitting clothing which allows you to move about freely.
  • Shin guards, kneepads, body armour, helmet - all or some may be worth thinking about.
  • Always remember the weather and dress accordingly.
  • Carry the minimum amount of equipment so you can move quickly if need be.
  • Have enough film or electronic memory.
  • Let someone know that you are covering the unrest and tell them what time you are leaving and at what time to expect you back.
  • At all times you should be distinct from the protesters and the police.
  • Always work in such a way that if something happens you can extract yourself.
  • Keep an eye on fellow journalists in case they need help.  

Tags: , press freedom, safety, violence, civil unrest