School of Journalism and Mass Communications of Aristotle University Thessaloniki (AUTh), Jean Monnet Chair for European Integration Journalism, Hellenic Multinational Peace Support Operations Training Center with the support of Incubator for Media Education and Development (Imedd), European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Digital Communications Network Hub Thessaloniki, organise the first “Journalists Field Safety” Training School. The school will take place in Kilkis, Greece, between 24th-28th of November 2019.
War reporters today face a significant number of unprecedented challenges on the field. They find themselves strangling to satisfy basic physical needs and personal security, while at the same time they have to deal with an extremely complicated information environment.
Peace Journalism Lab committed to its values and in the framework of UNAI, takes the initiative to create a new training program for professional and young reporters that are interested in visiting war zones. The program aims to provide them with all the necessary knowledge to cope with the challenges they are going to face in the contemporary field of conflict.
The curriculum includes two basic parts, those of theoretical and intensive field training. A number of issues will be presented to the participants, including:
• Introduction to the Environment
• Challenges & evolutions in Reporting war and crises
• Law of armed Conflict
• Field Safety
• Data Security
• Health, Epidemics and Stress Management
• Admin Basics
As a first step, the curriculum includes an introduction to the environment, where participants will be introduced in cultural awareness, Reporting about war and conflicts, verification techniques, etc. peace and security and the law of armed conflict, including Rules of Engagement and Prisoners of War.
As a second step, they will be introduced into more advanced issues of Field and safety, in the role of fixers, and they will learn how to deal with checkpoints, how to negotiate, how to behave in a hostage situation. They will also learn about transportation safety, UXO – IED, minefields actions – recognizing minefields – signs, etc. Another important issue they will be informed about is body armor – inventory – equipment, what sources could they use and how to approach hostile subjects, etc.
Data security is another important issue upon which participants will be trained. As information gains an increasingly significant role, new reporters should be updated on the latest connectivity and data security issues.
Being on the field comes not only with direct threats from the conflict itself. There are other issues the reporter should care about. Field medical care, stress management, hygiene, and environmental health are some of them while dealing with stress in such a situation is vital.
During the course, participants will also be informed on admin basics, regarding credentials they should carry with them at all times in order to be prepared and avoid unnecessary trouble, in an already difficult situation.
Finally, they will have the opportunity to be part of a major forum, where they will share experiences with experts and listen to their true stories, while on the same time they will participate in a training organized by a network of prestigious international partners from all over the world, in an adequate environment that will challenge their choice to become war correspondents.
“Journalists Field Safety” Training School aims to the renter and consolidates its status as one of the world’s most significant schools on the specific subject, as it is supported by an impressive background, combined by credible, the world’stop news organisations and experts. Taking into consideration the significant role of coverage of the contemporary conflicts and being a member of the UNAcademic Impact Network, the PJL also intergrades the promotion of peace journalism principles and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the training’s objectives.
This training school is a unique opportunity to benefit from the Organizers outstanding experience in war journalism/risk communication combined with the expertise of military professionals. The program is structured around keynote presentations by distinguished experts, roundtable discussions and intensive field training. The course will be run with a mix-method teaching style and includes lectures, discussion, field training, policy lab, and hands-on practicum. Sessions will be led by experts from across communication and military fields.