To support media professional in conflict zones, the international community offers different forms of help, such as funding and material help. FPU has many projects to help journalist in distress, and train them before embarking on a dangerous mission. For instance:
- The Safety Guide for Journalists is a handbook to protect journalists in the field. It has been distributed in Iraq by FPU and UNESCO to provide instructions for better and safe dealing with journalists at all checkpoints throughout Iraq. The 14-page guide offers tools and guidance for working in a high-risk environment. More information
- The pilot insurance was also launched by FPU and ACOS (A Culture of Safety) Alliance to insure journalists in the most dangerous regions and create a safer environment for them to work.
- The Journalists in Distress Network, coordinated by FPU, involves 18 international organisations that provide assistance to journalists. The network allows member organisations to more easily share information, coordinate joint efforts, and avoid duplication. Part of this network, FPU launched Reporters Responds for media professionals and media outlets who are in an emergency situation and in need of support as a direct result of their profession.
The International community also have a role in conveying news that is being censored at home. For instance, many diasporas are creating networks that connect their homeland to their current location. To make sure NGO and international outlets work together with local correspondents who relay the news, using new technology – and cheap Chinese phones –, helps people to communicate. So even if a village is remote, the news can be immediately relayed. Along with multiple international networks like the Global Forum of Media Development network, the Whistleblowing network, and the IFEX, FPU defend and promote freedom of expression as a fundamental human right. Those organisations are even more important in an armed conflict situation where human rights are constantly violated.
Together with UNCESCO, FPU launch events around World Press Freedom Day. Connecting international and national actors to create an overall enabling environment for media and journalists. In 2003, the theme of ‘The Media and Armed Conflict’ was addressed. Every year, among several other conclusions, the necessity to support independent media and increase protection of journalists is reached.
List of organisations which support journalists in distress
International Media Support
International Media Support brings about a variety of program in conflict zone to support media law reform, safety for journalists including psycho-social support, conflict sensitive journalism, gender equality within the media sector and media content and humanitarian information. They operate within many countries such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia. For more information
The Institute for War and Peace Reporting
The Institute for War and Peace Reporting also empowers voices at the frontlines of conflict and transition to help them drive change by strengthening local capacity to report on and advocate for accountability, freedom of expression and human rights. They have established standards of ethical journalism and trained new generations of reporters, in countries ranging from Afghanistan and Cuba to Iraq and Central Asia. For more information