Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Journalists' Security On-Site and Online

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Journalists' Security On-Site and Online

Article excerpt

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Internews cohosted a June 13 panel discussion at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters in Washington, DC on security in the ever-changing world of journalism. Speakers promoted CPJ publications, including Attacks on the Press in 2011 and the new Journalist Security Guide, compiled by panelists Frank Smyth, CPJ senior adviser for journalist security, and Danny O'Brien, CPJ Internet advocacy coordinator. The two were joined by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, senior correspondent and associate editor of The Washington Post, and Kathleen Reen of Internews, an international non-profit organization whose mission is to empower local media worldwide.

Smyth, as the primary author of the Journalist Security Guide, which can be downloaded for free at , noted the shifting nature of the journalism industry in a dangerous and changing world. "Front-line news gatherers" are working with less "institutionalized support" than ever before, he stated. The number of free-lance journalists reporting on conflicts is increasing, Smyth added, and they are facing more violence.

"It's a double-barrel problem," O'Brien emphasized, "because there is increased interest in journalists as targets and decreased support for them." The Security Guide is intended as a go-to for journalists whose security is potentially at risk.

Chandrasekaran, who covered the U.S. invasion of Iraq as well as the war in Afghanistan, brought his real-world experience into the mix. As the Post's bureau chief in Baghdad, he said he found that journalists all too often appear in dangerous scenarios without the necessary background knowledge. …

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