The protection standards, known as the Freelance Journalist Safety Principles, were adopted a year ago in light of the escalation in killings, imprisonments and abductions of journalists in recent years.
The preamble to the principles states: “These attacks represent a fundamental threat not just to individual news professionals, but to the practice of independent journalism.”
According to a recent report of the International Federation of Journalists, since 1990 at least 2 297 journalists have been murdered worldwide.
Finnish journalists and photographers also work periodically in crisis areas and other hostile environments. While so far none have been killed or abducted, the risks they face are worsening.
The principles contain basic guidelines for journalists to follow when planning assignments in high-risk areas, and there is a separate set of guidelines for news organisations making assignments in such places.
Many international media houses nowadays do not accept stories from journalists who have not undergone safety training.
The Finnish Red Cross will be running a safety training course for journalists in Hollola 12 – 15 May. The UJF has reserved five places on the course for union members.