Occupational Safety Capacity Building Series: Journalists Across Yemen Trained for Safer Reporting

 

The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate, in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), successfully implemented the first phase of a series of comprehensive training courses to enhance the capacities of Yemeni journalists across different governorates, focusing particularly on occupational safety in conflict reporting.

 

The initiative aimed to address the ongoing risks faced by journalists in Yemen and empower them with essential skills andknowledge to navigate the challenges of reporting in conflict zones.90 Yemeni men and women journalists actively participated in the training sessions from November 2023 to January 2024, in Aden, Hadramout, Mukalla and Marib. Participantsgained valuable insights into planning media tasks, effective risk management, and the ability to recognize and avoid potential risks during turbulent situations.

Mr.  Salah Mubarak, the deputy head of the Syndicate’s branch in Hadramout, explains “Our aim is for the courses to build the capabilities of journalists in the field of occupational safety, disseminating knowledge to protect them from risks, spreading the culture and principles of occupational safety, as well as providing them with skills and expertise to help them be safe when they cover events on the field.”

 

Urgent Call for Safety of Yemeni Journalists

 

Yemen remains a place where journalists encounter persistent challenges and threats to their safety and freedom of expression.According to the YSJreporton the violations against media freedom in Yemen during the third quarter of 2023, ongoing risks faced by journalists in Yemeninclude detentions, censorship, threats, and assaults, occupational safety training remains crucial.In 2023, the YSJ reported a total of 82 cases of violations committed against journalists and media workers. The call for accountability and protection of Yemeni journalists remains urgent, emphasizing the need for actions to ensure their safety and freedom to report without fear.

Empowering Journalists for Safer Reporting

 

Collaborating with universities to better equip future journalists is a proactive approach to ensure that young journalists are better prepared to navigate these challenges safely as they embark on their professional journeys in conflict zones. Salah Mubarak,the deputy head of the Syndicate’s branch in Hadramout, explains “We are constantly working to provide training opportunities to enhance the professional capabilities of journalists and media professionals, especially through our work with universities.”

 

Through their participation in the training courses, media students and professionals delved into both theoretical and applied aspects, enhancing their knowledge on planning field missions, recognizing dangers during disturbances and riots, understanding types of firearms, and developing awareness of kidnapping operations. Additionally, participants learned best practices for addressing wounds, injuries, fractures, and burns. The training series also covered the basics of digital and personal security in the media.

 

These activities are part of the first of two phases of a series of training courses dedicated to occupational safety, organized by the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate within the framework of the agreement and cooperation with UNESCO and the IFJ. The project “Monitoring and documenting anti-media violations and enhancing the professional safety of journalists in Yemen’s hostile press environment”, is part of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication. The second phase of training courses are planned to begin in April across different governorates in Yemen to further prepare journalists from across the country for the challenges and demands of working in conflict settings.

 

 

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