NUJ StorySmart - safety and security tips for journalists

THERE'S NOW a National Union of Journalists StorySmart website with training modules on safety and security for journalists. All resources are free to use. StorySmart includes both the personal safety of journalists (and injured people they may come across) in conflict zones, but also the safety and security of their sources, journalistic material and data. It's at

Homepage of NUJ StorySmart

StorySmart's homepage

In the Sources module, there's an overview of strategies for keeping sources confidential which looks at legislation, the protections given to "journalistic material" in law and ensuring that journalistic material is recognised as such, tips for ensuring your material is not seized.

Other modules include Cyber hazards - preventing data theft or surveillance - with a section on phones. The Psychological Trauma module deals with surviving abuse (particularly online abuse) and has advice on "self-care".

There's also material on Conflict Zone Risks - this includes "bullets", "riots", "vehicles" (getting around unharmed) and "kidnap" - withstanding capture. The material is devised by a trainer from hostile environment specialists Cadre Consulting, who've trained over 6000 journalists worldwide.

The Cadre Consulting trainer also devised the section on "Field Injuries", which covers everything from what to do if you encounter someone wounded on a battlefield to dealing with fractures and burns. Additionally, there's the less dramatic pre-departure planning of first aid kits and possible first aid training before you go on assignment.

There is a link from StorySmart to an email address for queries about the modules. It's well worth finding the time to look through the modules. Some sections start by indicating how long they will take to get through. The Freelance intends to take the time to go through all the modules and review StorySmart in the near future.

StorySmart is an NUJ initiative with support from Google News Initiative. There are links from the StorySmart site to separate Google News Initiative tools for journalists, which are also worth taking a look at.