Thompson Foundation has created an online platform to deliver safety courses to journalists who are reporting events surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Thompson Instructors, an arm of the Thompson Foundation created the course in collaboration with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Dart Centre Europe.
The course is to ensure the safety of journalists and those of the people s/he works with and meet when covering a pandemic such as COVID-19.
The journalists will be trained on how to conduct interviews and gather information at a time when restrictions on movement and contact create enormous challenges for journalists.
The course draws on coverage of previous epidemics and pandemics such as SARS and Ebola. It also includes examples of best practises devised by journalists and media organisations covering the Covid-19 outbreak.
The course is designed to help keep the journalists, colleagues, friends and family safe but ultimately enable continuous coverage at a time when people are relying on the media to keep them informed.
At the end of the course, the journalist will be able to adapt working practices and the usage of equipment to achieve the most effective coverage during the challenges of reporting during a pandemic.
The journalist will be exposed to measures to take in order to minimise the risk of infection or infecting others when covering the COVID–19 pandemic.
The course also covers training on potential emotional consequences of covering a pandemic, how to handle those consequences and where to seek help if needed.
Deborah Kelly, the Director of Training and Communications at the Thomson Foundation with more than 30 years’ experience as a senior journalist and manager working for the UK and international media organisations including the BBC, Al Jazeera, ITV and Thomson Reuters, will be the course instructor.
Deborah will be taking the course alongside a strong team of media experts which include Head of Human Rights and Safety at the International Federation of Journalists, Ernest Sagaga; Head of High Risk for ITN, the UK-based international news organisation, Joel Whittaker; television documentary producer, author and academic with more than 30 years’ experience in the media industry, Louise Heren; Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma Europe, Gavin Rees and Trainer and consultant in mobile journalism, Glen Mulcahy.
The course can be completed within 4 hours across multiple sections.
The course outline in seven sections is as given below:
- Section 1 gives an overview of the course and introduces the course trainer and the media experts who will guide you through the safety process.
- Section 2 explores what we know about Covid-19 and considers the safety checks and measures you must carry out when planning coverage of stories.
- Section 3 investigates the principles of journalistic safety at a time of crisis, including personal hygiene, and cleanliness of equipment.
- Section 4 lists the golden rules for ensuring that members of the public you come into contact with, stay safe at all times.
- Section 5 provides you with a ‘risk checker’ – providing all the information you need to make sure you get the story you want, safely.
- Section 6 has all the essential tips regarding video and audio recording, including a look at how the experts manage to cope during a pandemic.
- Section 7 shows how you can keep yourself and your family safe, and where you can get help to cope with the emotional impact.