Safety of Journalists > Blog > ​10th Issue of IFJ Focus on Safety

​10th Issue of IFJ Focus on Safety

04 September 2015

Welcome to the tenth issue of the IFJ Focus on Safety, a monthly blog which provides highlights, news and in-depth analysis of safety-related events of concerns to journalists.

The blog is part of the IFJ strategy to promote the safety of journalists and to combat the issue of impunity.

Please check out the IFJ International Code of Practice for the Safe Conduct of Journalism at the end of this issue.

We value your feedback and would like to hear about your safety experience in the field as well as any safety-related stories you would like to share with members of the IFJ family, the global journalists’ community.

Five Journalists Injured in Violent Clashes at Kiev Parliament

Five journalists were among the injured in riotsbetween police and activists led by the populist Radical Party and the far-right Svoboda (Freedom) party outside the Parliament in Kiev on 31 August. Several grenades and tear gas were thrown as well as an explosive device, injuring at least 100 people including five journalists covering the clashes, police officers and national guards according to media reports. Two members of the national guards were reportedly killed.

Mafia Mob Threatens Journalists in Italy for Reporting Boss’ Show Stopping Funeral

Two Italian journalists and support staff have received death threats for reporting on mafia boss Vittorio Casamonica’s funeral, held in Rome on 21 August.

Alessio Viscardi, an investigative reporter for the online newspaperFanpage.itwas threatened on 22 August by four people in Terzigno (40 km south of Naples), when he was looking for the airfield where the helicopter had taken off to throw rose petals on the funeral procession. The attackers took photographs of his documents and threatened to kill him.

The next day a TV crew from the public TV channel RAI 3, including journalist Alfonso Iuliano, a cameraman and a sound engineer, were shooting video in the Appio area, where several members of the Casamonica family are living, when they were attacked by local residents who threatened to kill them if they did not stop filming. Two people were arrested and charged with robbery after allegedly taking the journalists’ phones.

The IFJ and its European organisation the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) made a joint submission on the threats incidents to the Council of Europe's Plateform to promote the protection of journalism and the safety of journalists.

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US TV Reporter and Cameraman Killed by Former Colleague in Virginia

Two members ofWDBJ7 TV crew, aCBS affiliated in the US state of Virginia, were shot dead by a gunman during a live report from a shopping centre. The gunman, suspected to be a former WDBJ7 TV employee, opened fire on 24-year-old journalist Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward in the middle of a live interview, killing both of them, reports said.

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Media Assaulted at Christian Protest in the Philippines

There were reports of media been assaulted and attacked at protests organised by Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), the influential Christian group in the Philippines around EDSA Shrine in Manila on 27 August. Melchor Pinlac, a cameraman with ABS-CBN was grabbed by the neck and punched in the face and body as the crowd chanted ‘biased, biased’. Olan Bola, a reporter with GMA network’s station dzBB was also assaulted as he tried to stop the attack on Pinlac. The INC members, who were protesting what they see as the government’s interference in church affairs, had reached 20,000 people by 31 August.

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South Sudan with Highest Media Death Toll in Africa after Sixth Murder

Peter Moi, working forThe New Nationnewspaper, who was shot dead on Wednesday 19 August after leaving work in the capital Juba. According to media reports, money and his telephone were found on his body and there was no immediate response to the killing from the police or security forces.

This latest killing, thesixthSouth Sudan in 2015, follows the widely-condemned statement made a few days ago by President Salva Kiir in he reportedly threatened to kill journalists who report “against the country.”

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Have Your Say

Somali Journalist Omar Wadere Gives a Slip to Al-Shabab after attempt on his life

A soft spoken and good mannered man, Omar Mohamud Wardere, who worked for Risaala Radio in Mogadishu cuts a youthful figure. In his mid –thirties, he admits that he has “a baby face which belies my age”. However, the story of his lucky escape from his home town Mogadishu is no kid’s stuff.

Omar, a member of IFJ Somali affiliate NUSOJ, had been waiting for such a visit after publishing an article about the al-Shahab’s attack on the Ministry of Education

Omar owes his life to the quick thinking of his wife who confronted two men outside the family home in the Somali capital, last April. The men had come for Omar but his wife, suspecting their intention, refused to let them in. They exchanged a few words before the men forced their way into the family home. Omar, a member of IFJ Somali affiliate NUSOJ, had been waiting for such a visit after publishing an article about the al-Shahab’s attack on the Ministry of Education in which several people were killed. He had started receiving death threats from the militants group.

He had lost no time, hearing the men at the door, in making for the back door and jumped over the fence. The hitmen, in hot pursuit, shot his younger and only brother. Omar ran to his uncle’s home for safety. The uncle returned to Omar’s home and took his critically injured nephew to hospital where he passed away that very night. Omar could no longer stay in the city and left the country on a long and tortuous journey to safety.

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Killed Journalists in August

Nine journalists were killed during August in seven countries, namely Azerbaijan (1), India (1), Mexico (1), Mozambique (1), the Philippines (2), South Soudan (1) and the United States (2)

Please click for here for details.

IFJ's International Code of Practice for the Safe Conduct of Journalism

The dangers to journalists and media staff working in dangerous situations and conflict zones are the subject of extensive record. The IFJ has recorded the deaths of more than 1000 journalists and media staff over the past ten years.

Many journalists are killed, injured or harassed in war zones, either targeted by one side or another or caught in the crossfire of violence. Others are victims of premeditated assault and intimidation either by criminals, terrorists or by agencies of the state — the police, the military or the security forces — acting secretly and illegally.

Very often there is little that journalists or media organisations can do to avoid casualties. There will, inevitably, be accidents, no matter how much care is taken to provide protection and there is little one can do when those targeting media use ruthless and brutal methods to crush journalistic inquiry.

However, there are steps that journalists and media organisations should take to minimise the risks to staff. In particular, the following are vital considerations in providing protection:

Adequate preparation, training and social protection. It is essential that journalists and media staff be in a state of readiness when difficulties arise. There should be a framework for providing individuals with health care and social protection.

Media professionals must be informed and inform themselves about the political, physical, and social terrain in which they are working. They must not contribute to the uncertainty and insecurity of their conditions through ignorance or reckless behaviour.

Mediaorganisationsmust guard against risk-taking for competitive advantage, and should promote co-operation among journalists whenever conditions exist which are potentially hazardous.

Governments must remove obstacles to journalism. They must not restrict unnecessarily the freedom of movement of journalists or compromise the right of news media to gather, produce and disseminate information in secure and safe conditions.

People Must Keep Their Hands Off Media. Everyone should respect the physical integrity of journalists and media staff at work. Physical interference with filming or other journalistic work must be prohibited.

With these considerations in mind, the IFJ calls on journalists groups, mediaorganisationsand all relevant public authorities to respect the following International Code of Practice for the Safe Conduct of Journalism:

1. Journalists and other media staff shall be properly equipped for all assignments including through the provision of first-aid materials, communication tools, adequate transport facilities and, where necessary, protective clothing;

2. Media organisations and, where appropriate, state authorities shall provide risk awareness training for those journalists and media workers who are likely to be involved in assignments where dangerous conditions prevail or may be reasonably expected;

3. Public authorities shall inform their personnel of the need to respect the rights of journalists and shall instruct them to respect the physical integrity of journalists and media staff while at work;

4. Media organisations shall provide social protection for all staff engaged in journalistic activity outside the normal place of work, including life insurance;

5. Media organisations shall provide, free of charge, medical treatment and health care, including costs of recuperation and convalescence, for journalists and media workers who are the victims of injury or illness as a result of their work outside the normal place of work;

6. Media organisations shall protect freelance or part-time employees. They must receive, on an equal basis, the same social protection and access to training and equipment as that made available to fully employed staff.