The recent senseless murder of two WDBJ employees in Moneta, Bedford County VA is a terrible tragedy. Global Media Risk’s thoughts are with their friends and family during this difficult time.
Unfortunately this tragedy highlights the importance of safety training and security for field reporters and staff. It is clear that journalists are no longer neutral parties. Journalists are at risk of violence every day and most are not prepared.
This incident, amongst other recent attacks on reporters in the US, continually raises the question why the majority of journalists are being sent into the field without basic safety and first aid training. In the last ten years, over 500 journalists and media workers have been killed worldwide whilst reporting the news. Journalists reporting on local conflicts, corruption, and other illegal activities also face threats of abduction, harassment, violence, illegal arrest, and detention,
News organisations have a duty of care to provide their staff with the training and logistics to protect them and their equipment during the conduct of their work. Media unions need to call for mandatory and continual safety and first aid training for all reporters and staff who deploy in the field. Journalist lives matter and it is time their safety was made a priority.