Safety tips on the go

  • 03 Nov 2022

The NUJ and Society of Editors have launched a mobile-friendly safety toolkit to help members find advice and information while they are on the move.

The free-to-access toolkit is part of the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists’ action plan to protect journalists from threats of violence and online abuse in the course of their work.

Investigative journalists are under threat from surveillance. Photographers say they are increasingly becoming the target when the cover protests. Many writers are subject to the day-to-day attacks by online trolls, who often target women and journalists from minority backgrounds disproportionally.

The toolkit provides clear, simple information and advice, as well as signposting journalists to other important resources. It provides information to help journalists protect themselves and their sources and technological ways to secure communications. It covers physical safety, information security, mental health care, health and safety at work and gives advice on how to take action against abuse on social media platforms.

The mobile toolkit can be accessed here. There is a version on the NUJ website. The toolkit will be continually updated with new material. You can add it to your Home page by clicking the Share icon then “Add to Home Screen”.

Michelle Stanistreet, National Union of Journalists general secretary, said:

“With surveys and our own research showing that four in five journalists have experienced threats and violence at work and more than half of NUJ members experienced online abuse, something needs to be done. That is why we have devised a toolkit offering practical tips to journalists to help protect them while doing their job. But what needs to happen is a change of culture where it is totally unacceptable for journalists to be threatened and abused just for doing their job.”

Dawn Alford, executive director of the Society of Editors said:

“Journalism plays a crucial role in our society and yet more and more often we are seeing journalists subjected to abuse, harassment and intimidation for simply carrying out their roles. The Society is committed to helping to ensure that journalists operating in the UK are able to do so without fear and the safety toolkit provides information, advice and resources to help reporters recognise their rights and the avenues available to help them work safely. The abuse of journalists must not be seen as part of the job. Abuse must be called out – and stamped out - if journalists are to be able to continue to speak truth to power.”

The toolkit has a range of sections on safety: digital, physical, workplace, and information. It covers mental health, covering courts and a section for photographers. It looks at ways for journalists to defend themselves against lawfare, sets out a range of technological ways to secure communications and provides information on reporters’ and photographers’ rights.

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