Building a Safety Information Network to Offer High Quality Media Training

Year when project approved: 
2009
Approved budget: 
US$35 420.00

A forthcoming study to be published by INSI Latin America Office shows that two thirds of the journalists murdered in a decade were journalists investigating political corruption or economic crimes (so called parallel powers) and 74% of them were working for radio or written Media1. These journalists, potentially most affected by violence, usually do not have the means to access timely information on security or acquire the necessary skills and hence are most at threat. This project proposes to develop a way of delivering in a timely and economic mean security information and skills to those frontline reporters in order to make them minimize risks and allowing them to continue investigating sensitive matters such as corruption and economic crimes in their countries. These skills will reinforce the process already set in place by INSI of transferring safety skills to journalists in Latin America through regular training courses and training of trainers program. To this end a group of 50 assignments or investigations entailing risks due to their location or subject- will be selected and monitored from a security optic by a group of 10 experts for eight months. NGO´s and Press Freedom groups (such as the Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, the International Federation of Journalists, IFJ, and the International Committee for the Red Cross, ICRC) and security training companies (AKE, TOR) will select the experts or monitors of the journalists work. At the end of the monitoring experience the journalists will be asked to elaborate security recommendations for their peers in their country or on other risky matters that will be subsequently published in order to disseminate safety skills and develop safety standards for the region. The project will contribute to INSI´s regional Latin America Office capacity to counsel in security issues and strength of its regional network. The elements included in the project are contributing to a better development of investigative capacity in journalism; active partnership and consultation with experimented investigative journalists and security experts; strengthening institutional capacity in the LAC region to advice and counsel in security skills journalists most at need; and generating relevant security information of risk areas in the LAC region specific to journalism allowing tailored high quality training.

Documents
Project details
IPDC Bureau meeting nº: 
53

Implementation status :

Project evaluated:

Project scope:

Budget
Budget code: 
354 RLA 5083

Source of funds:

Beneficiary
Beneficiary name: 
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Beneficiary address: 
International Press Center Residence Palace, Block C 155 Rue de la Loi, B-1040 Brussels

Beneficiary country:

Beneficiary phone: 
-7734709223
Location and contacts
UNESCO
Responsible UNESCO Regional advisers: 

Gunther Cyranek, g.cyranek@unesco.org;

UNESO Field Office:

Project contacts: 
Follow-up and achievments
Summary of the project implementation: 
After a considerable delay, due to a complete restructuring of INSI and a move of INSI's offices from Den Haag to London, the project was implemented in the second half of 2010. Following the restructuring process, the project had to be modified taking into account journalists' current safety situation in the region, as well as logistical, administrative and cost conditions. Training activities were focused on Mexico, were journalists' safety situation is worse due to the pressure of drug cartels and other organized crime. INSI teamed up with the Mexican Foundation for investigative journalism (MEPI) linked to the Tecnológico de Monterrey. A six month investigation conducted by MEPI which tracked reporting on drug trafficking in provincial media, provided hands-on recent data on the safety situation of Mexican journalists. The study was presented and discussed during a 2-day training course held by INSI in cooperation with MEPI in Mexico City in December 2010. The course was attended by 16 journalists, predominantly working in print and television channels, who received practical advice on how to improve their personal, office and home safety, trauma awareness, risk assessment and crisis management. The training also taught how to identify and deal with mental trauma. Based on the participants' inputs and debates during the training, INSI is currently gathering and drafting security recommendations for journalists. Those recommendations will be part of a safety manual for news media in Latin America, which INSI is planning to publish in the first quarter of 2011. Training participants will continue to cooperate closely through digital communication.
Achieved outputs: 
In spite of a major delay, the project has now been successfully implemented. The safety manual including practical recommendation is planned to be presented to journalists association in Latin America in the first semester of 2011.