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Media coalition launches self-assessment platform for news organisations

A COALITION of several international news organisations has launched a platform called ‘The News Organisations Safety Self-Assessment’ to help news outlets to review and improve their safety practices and protocols. 

The Self-Assessment is made up of key questions and guideline notes aimed at promoting a constructive conversation around safety best practices, as well as encourage practical and effective ways to advance such practices. The tool also supports news organisations to identify and better understand their own weaknesses and strengths in relation to the security of all individuals working for them exposed to danger, including freelancers.

The initiative is a collaboration that involved the ACOS (A Culture Of Safety) Alliance, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, Free Press Unlimited, Frontline Freelance Register, the International Federation of Journalists, International News Safety Institute, International Media Support, International Press Institute, the International Women’s Media Foundation, and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

‘The News Organisations Safety Self-Assessment tool pays special attention to gender issues, mental health care, digital security needs and working with freelancers and fixers, aspects which are often neglected in organisational policy and protocols. It also includes links to relevant articles, reports, guides, and other existing resources, as well as a basic glossary.

“Although this is a resource primarily aimed at news management, we encourage anyone in the news chain to use these guidelines to learn more about their organisation’s safety provisions and start a productive conversation around safety issues,” said Elisabet Cantenys, Executive Director of the ACOS Alliance.

“Keeping safety protocols relevant is a major challenge for most news organisations. Here we offer a practical and useful tool, which we hope will take us a step closer towards embedding a culture of safety.

“Aside from the moral imperative to protect all the individuals who contribute to a news product, investing in robust safety policy and protocols can save an organisation from the financial loss and reputational damage of a crisis that could have been prevented, or could have been carefully managed.”

‘The News Organisations Safety Self-Assessment’ can be downloaded from the ACOS Alliance website or from the websites of the several other associations partnering for the project.

The tool will also be available in five additional languages: Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and Portuguese, courtesy of Committee to Protect Journalists. This will last until the World Press Freedom Day, May 3.

‘‘The News Organisations Safety Self-Assessment’ tool was supported by the MacArthur Foundation and the Open Society Foundations.

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