Risks to journalists are rising with disasters, epidemics, physical, mental and digital harassment all increasing globally. Some 1382 journalists have been killed since 1992 and 246 are imprisoned. However, the threat type has been changing, with the majority of journalists killed annually being ones working in their own country, often who are targeted for assassination. In response, UNESCO and others have called for research into best practice for safety education to halt this and the consequential decline in global media freedom. This five-year award winning project, A Holistic Humanitarian Approach to Enhance the Safety and Resilience of Journalists Globally, tested the hypothesis that a new pedagogy based on a ‘holistic humanitarian’ philosophy would be more effective in protecting journalists working in dangerous domains globally than existing provisions. The little-changed 30-year-old dominant international provision, the ‘military battlefield’ pedagogy, is used by the world’s major news organizations like BBC, CNN and the New York Times. This new pedagogy adapted and customized best practice from other professions and used Taylor’s 2020 Competencies for Disaster Healthcare professionals. A new program was devised and the two international cohorts who took it in 2018 and 2019 judged that it ‘very significantly’ enhanced their resilience and safety skills. Its concentration on group and individual physical and mental resilience building, risk mitigation, psychology, communication, self-defence, and digital security skill acquisition was a paradigm shift in training internationally for news professionals in dangerous environments. The research, thus, proved the study’s hypotheses.
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