The job of a journalist is always full of risks and he never knows what conflicting situation he has to face during his work assignment. The journalist unions of several countries in partnership with big media federations organize safety workshops for local and foreign journalists covering conflict and war zone in a particular country or any local region. These workshops are organized to make journalists learn the techniques of saving themselves while reporting news from war zones. This kind of training is also targeted at tackling safety issues and post trauma for reporters and news correspondents by organizing them and making them understand the policy of operating in chaotic situations like war. Journalism college in Kolkata is focused on preparing the students of Mass Communication and Media sciences tackle war reporting scenario. When the journalist communities do not have safe working conditions in times of war, then the common public is also deprived from its right to have access to fact based information. The journalists serve the common good of the public so their safety concerns are a top priority because covering news is only possible through living and not dead journalists.
Areas taught to journalists for keeping themselves safe in war and zones of conflict
The areas which are taught by the Media, Journalism and Mass Communication fraternity to the journalists who have to execute war reporting includes-
- Personal security
- Managing high risk environment
- Digital security
- Post traumatic stress disorder management
- Creating a comprehensive understanding of risk management
- Creating a mentality so that the news reporters in war zones do not neglect ground risks
- Taking measures to significantly improve the safety of the media
- Raising awareness of the working conditions for reporters in war and conflict zones
- Safety protocol for journalists working in the high risk zones like situations of war and extreme conflict
- Making life protection the top most priority where protection of human life is much more important than covering news and reporting from areas of war
- Wearing protective equipments like helmet, life jacket, gas mask etc. visible on the war ground
- Following regular and systematic professional training about news coverage in hostile situations
- Getting last updates, briefings and advices from experienced local war reporters before leaving the war zone
- Avoiding staying alone in the risk zone as much as possible apart from times when news is to be covered about a particular crucial moment of war or conflict
- Paying extreme attention to explosives after the fight is over and also being cautious of the bombs implanted in mining areas at the border regions of a territory
- Sharing daily locations and programs of the war and the conflict zones with the local union branch of the administrative section of the war area or at least one colleague who is also responsible for war reporting in the same or nearby area
- Keeping safe distance from conflict zones before making live coverage for television or web media
- Remaining cautious of the fact that when some unknown individuals or groups offer you news opportunities about the war to attempt any sort of kidnapping
- Asking for comprehensive professional help when post traumatic effects of war reporting are lasting for a long period
- Making a break and asking for relocation even for a short period of time after coverage of a war or conflict scenario
- Staying active with positive activities like sports, entertainment and other recreational and affirmative extracurricular activities for getting out of all sorts of traumatic experience of war reporting
- Never staying alone after any kind of traumatic experience gained from war or zones of conflict and sharing the feeling and story with some colleague or any person you trust.
- Giving importance to physical follow up is as important as getting news. Making sure that the war reporter takes his food regularly and has enough sleeping and resting time
- Making the fact very sure that any kind of press card symbol, professional identification material are clearly visible for the authorities or any kind of groups encounters during news reporting from areas of war or conflict.
- The most important safety measure for journalists to keep themselves safe in war zones is to not replying any kind of provocative actions from authorities or groups and keeping safe distance from such kind of activities
Mass communication and Journalism in Kolkata is the best platform for getting sound knowledge about the safety measures required while reporting in war and conflict situations.
Author bio- Professional writer, compiler and translator for major English publishing houses in management, commerce, humanities, social sciences, technology, general sciences and miscellaneous subjects. Faculty, content writer and developer of major tutorial homes and info tech enabled platforms in technology, management, commerce, social sciences, humanities, general sciences and professional studies. Chandigarh kala Kendra classical music-vocal degree holder. Stood first in professional English communication and writing from British Institute. Occasional singer and performer of modern and film songs in Bengali and Hindi. All India youth mock parliament and Ramcharitmanas recitation winner. Alumni of Bhavans institute of management science and contributor in publications of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan society.