Credits: All from AP - from left: Martin Mejia (Lima 2000), David de la Paz (Mexico City 1999), Jose Luis Magana (Mexico City 1998), Nasser Nasser (Ramallah 2002), Srdjan Ilic (Kosovo 1998) & Nasser Nasser (Ramallah 2000).
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May 7, 2010

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Journalist Safety
UN Resolution 1738

Journalist Safety
CoE Resolution 1535

Killing The Messenger
- INSI Global Inquiry - Report and Recommendations

Live News Africa
- A Survival Guide for Journalists

AIB Directory

Translations of key INSI information are available below in PDF format.
Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your system to read them. Financial resources have been available for some time now.

link to Arabic translation in PDF
link to Kurdish translation in PDF
link to Bengali translation in PDF
link to Azeri PDF
link to Word document in French
link to MS Word document in Spanish
link to MS Word document in Portuguese
link to PDF in Russian
link to PDF in Georgian
link to PDF in Tagalog
link to PDF in Bahasa Indonesia

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Democracy, War and the Media - Uneasy Bedfellows All Round

A high number of women war reporters have suffered physical attack or intimidation while covering conflicts, according to a new survey.

More than half of those who responded to the poll by the International News Safety Institute (INSI) reported sexual harassment and a significant number said they had experienced sexual abuse.

Several of the women called for self-defence to be made an intrinsic part of safety training. Requests were also made for female trainers on Hostile Environment training courses.

Overall, however, a majority of the women - all experienced international war reporters in print and television - said they did not believe they should be treated any differently from their male colleagues when it came to issues of safety in the field of conflict.

The survey -- the first of its kind -- was carried out by INSI to determine whether women assigned to war coverage had any specific safety requirements that were different from their male colleagues.

More than 150 women in frontline conflict reporting roles were sent questionnaires and 31 responded. They comprised freelancers and staff members, travelling reporters, women based in foreign bureaux and line payday advance producers or managers.

"Early indications show that the majority of female journalists do not believe they should be treated differently from their male colleagues," the survey said.

"However, responses from freelancers show that employees need to be more supportive and understanding about safety issues and safety training (for them), although this is also an issue that male freelancers face."

The INSI survey, sponsored by the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida), arose out of widespread concern at the rising numbers of journalists being killed around the world.

INSI is devoted to improving safety measures for all news media staff covering conflict and sought to determine whether women had specific problems.

Disturbingly, more than 82 per cent of respondents reported physical attack or intimidation whilst covering conflict.

More than 55 per cent reported sexual harassment and almost seven per cent said they had experienced sexual abuse.

Most respondents reported sexual harassment as slightly or moderately stressful, though responses rose to "very stressful" amongst a number of television staff and freelancers.

Three respondents said they felt safer working in Moslem countries because of being female. One believed her presence saved male colleagues from being shot.

A majority of respondents expressed general satisfaction with managerial responses to their safety concerns.

Most believed that raising concerns about safety problems would not affect their career prospects. Some newspaper journalists had reservations, however.

Freelancers reported concern over some employers being reluctant to provide them with the same level of protection as they did for their staff.

Drawing from their experiences of war reporting, respondents made several recommendations on improving safety in the field.

In terms of equipment, they recommended wider distribution of rape alarms or similar devices, proper headscarves and the like for Moslem countries, better helmets. Ninety per cent had never used a flak jacket designed for a female.

Other suggestions included more thorough learning of cultural expectations of women in the country of deployment. Respondents underlined the necessity of supportive editors and friends and close teamwork in dangerous conditions.

Requests included additional self-defence training, refresher Hostile Environment courses annually, specific courses for dealing with physical and sexual threats - including open discussions with male colleagues to raise awareness of this issue - stress awareness training and more education on local customs and languages.

INSI is encouraged by the responses to this preliminary survey and intends to broaden and deepen its scope to include women working in dangerous conditions in their own conflicted countries.

INSI thanks Sue Brayne for preparing and distributing the survey and the School of Social Sciences at City University in London for helping analyse the results.

It is time to redefine the stereotype "single female writer", time to start a dialog about the meaning of the words we use to outline single and female. Knowledge of the implications for a writer particularly is crucial for a single female writer's survival and reason. Men naturally figure into this new technique of thinking nevertheless, men have to do their own homework. In the not-so-distant past, a single female was labeled an old house maid or spinster, with the connotations of not quite good enough, confounded, or should have been married by this time. A male in this position was and is referred to as a bachelor, with all of the confusing, romantic, exciting, and generally, fascinating connotations that go with the word. naturally, these names were made by a society that considered a woman's place to be in the home. Her job was to have and raise kids and take care of her man's home, whom she stood behind and supported emotionally. A single female during the past was assumed to be emotionally cold, and as a writer, to be intellectual to the point of insensitivity, engrossed, no longer in touch, and, back another generation, threatening and even subversive. ( Think "librarian with an attitude." ) Today, thanks to feminism and blogs, online diaries, and other kinds of instant communication and publishing, girls bare their intellectual ability and writers ' souls with male writers on a regular basis. Dating internet sites appear hopelessly shallow, you believe duplicity and game-playing, and it is like everyone seems to be chasing the perfect ( one look in the mirror and you fall short ). Quite overtly, you do not know what you would do if somebody gave a positive response. Is web dating what you want? Sure, you are lonely, but you also relish your autonomy. The choices are dour : the singles bar scene ; Club Med-type vacation experiences ; meeting somebody at work ( if you're at all attached to a "workplace" ) ; speed dating ( just take a number, please ) ; for example. Increasingly, internet dating sites that are concentrated on a selected niche or idea are becoming well-liked, "It's Just Lunch" springs to mind, a site that makes it less complicated for busy singles to make a comparatively unstressed, real life connection. Not one of the above options may always fit a single female writer's self-concept or wishes. Quite likely, a single female writer may wish to connect to somebody first off "above the neck", find somebody with whom she resonates thru the written word. Struggling as wordsmiths infrequently are to point out precisely what they mean and then be translated exactingly as well, it's so exciting, exciting, and, let's come clean, Tempting , to have somebody tell you, "I am getting it. Or perhaps a reader offers kudos, recommendations, and input, and their constructive feedback is judicious and exciting - all of a sudden a collusion is born. It is time to take single female writers out of spinsterhood and into an intellectual community where sex and love are an evocative stimulus to intellectual and provocative conversation.

Latest world wars and the regularly impressive ways that the established media is covering them, have given media analysts sufficient chance to see if technical developments are giving us the chance to have a closer experience of democracy.

It is reasonable to presume that advanced technology authorizes us all. To have a better notion of what is occurring in the most untouched of scenarios is said to make a contribution to our sense of participation and augments our democratic rights. Hyper-modern communication technologies are highly helpful in providing the normal voter with larger access to more, faster-paced and better analyzed stories and reports background info. The bigger our liberty of information the more of a say we feel we have. And the better our lives become - right? New insights in the job of the media's empowerment by hi tech apparatus started with the 1st gulf War in Iraq, the cover of which was completely controlled by CNN. When the US set out to police the world some more in Somalia other broadcast stations were better prepared, and Sarajevo came to be known as the web reporting war. The latest struggles in Afghanistan and Iraq experienced a total press-friendly war, with newshounds of all main line and some alternative media with their noses bang on the action. As the struggle in Iraq, deftly branded "Operation : Iraqi Liberty " by the US executive, isn't certain to be ending this year and as troops in Afghanistan are also not anywhere near leaving, the talk is targeted on whether interventions were primarily based on facts instead of fooling accounts of what was going down on the ground. The media, accusing the govt of spin doctoring its actions beyond what's healthy, are themselves charged with having become victims or ready puppets on a string by the folks they ought to be keeping a check on. Disinformation , that traditional idea typically connected with tyrants, appears to became very much a live idea again in the last couple of years. We have never had the privilige of banning it from our daily lives, but think tanks and other civil organisation concentrating on modern indoctrination techniques report an obviously higher interest in the phenomenon in recent times. The increased interest itself signals a new bias to mistrust our leaders.

What the think tanks report to folk on current-day leaders is no less reassuring. Indicating the assorted levels on which indoctrination is part of the message sent to us, you could start to wonder how sleeping deeply we are although we would prefer to think we've got a handle on fact. Though we aren't always faced continuously with the same obvious and grotesque lies Hitler and Stalin dreamed up in the 1930s, there's a flood of examples of half truths and likewise lethal messages being sent out to the masses by the media broadcast machine. Largest excuse? There is a war on. Even in ordinary times, it's impossible not to live with some quantity of rhetoric but when a standard enemy desires destroying, we rather forgive our leaders and the media for collaborating in what everybody knows is a circus. "Probably each conflict is fought on at least 2 grounds : the battleground and the minds of the people thru disinformation.

The "good fellows" and the "bad men" can regularly both be guilty of fooling their folks with distortions, exaggerations, subjectivity, inaccuracy and even fabrications, to receive support and a feeling of legitimacy", one media establishment writes on its site.

Avoiding the obvious lie, most Western leaders nowadays are guilty of spreading propagandistic messages, both when they address the general public about their role in the war AND in standard circumstances.

Effectively, all rhetoric is damaging to democracy, although many of us incline to think about the less radical forms as modern spin doctoring or clever PR.

The final result from all propaganda that reaches its goal, in whatever form, is total passiveness of the men and women that think the the message. Worries the media is poisoned to this end have been extensive in America and the United Kingdom during the last 2 years. Noam Chomsky, the popular left wing scholar in the USA, hits the nail squarely on its head describing the best-seller 'Weapons of Mass Deception, the usages of Rhetoric in Bush's War on Iraq ' by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber as "A major contribution for those that need to take command of their own future, not be passive subjects of manipulation and control. ".

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Killing The Messenger | Journalists & Media Staff Casualties 2007 | INSI: Killing The Messenger | Women Reporting War | Travel Advisory Gaza | Journalists & Media Staff Casualties Iraq | Trauma Awareness for Journalists Covering Tsunamis | Georgia Safety Tips | ISSUED BY FLEET STREET CLINIC | Bloodiest year for news media | EMBARGOED FOR 0001GMT 3 May 2005 | THE INSI SAFETY CODE | Iraq editor killed, says U.S. media watchdog | INSI welcomes UN action to safeguard journalists | News Deaths Hit All-Time High