A new journalists’ safety tool from the NUJ

  • 07 Dec 2021

The NUJ, with support from the Google News Initiative, has launched an online interactive tool to help journalists’ deal with hostile environments and cyber threats.

Journalism is increasingly hazardous. Reporters die or are injured every year. Media workers’ phones and computers are targeted with sophisticated spying software. Daily harassment of journalists is at an all-time high.

To help journalists minimise the risks they encounter – from conflict zones to the cyber battlefront – the NUJ is launching Storysmart, a suite of online training modules. Thanks to financial support from the Google News Initiative, these are free-to-use for anyone who finds them useful.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

“Journalism has always been dangerous, but hostile environments now extend to the streets of our own cities and cyber attacks can be mounted on the devices in all of our pockets. Storysmart is designed to raise journalists’ awareness of the challenges they face and provide tested methods to minimise risk and protect sources, however and wherever they are carrying out their work.”

Matt Cooke, head of Google News Lab said:

"The Google News Initiative works side-by-side with associations, publishers and journalists to build a more sustainable, diverse and innovative news ecosystem. This new training destination, designed by the NUJ, aims to raise awareness of practical steps and digital safety techniques.  It has never been more important to protect and support journalists, and we're grateful to the NUJ and all of the expert practitioners from across the news industry who have contributed to this project."

The Storysmart interactive modules divide risk into hostile environments, psychological trauma and well-being, cyber risks and dealing with injury. Designed to work on phones, tablet, and laptops, they are a series of bite-sized modules each taking 10 to 20 minutes that can be consulted as needed. 

They include advice from hostile environment trainers, cyber-security experts and experienced journalists.

The course can be accessed here

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