Course Overview

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The Fundamentals of Safe Commissioning

What is this training?

This virtual training for news editors and managers is a guide on how to safely commission journalistic work. It aims to shift the culture around journalism safety and security by bringing it to the core of commissioning and assignment work from the start.

Who is it for?

This training is for editors, news managers and anyone who commissions or assigns journalistic work. This training may also be useful for human resources or operations managers, those responsible for managing or updating newsroom policies, or others who are not directly involved in news gathering but play a role in employee safety and well-being.
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What to expect from this course.

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of safe commissioning practices that prioritize the well-being of journalists and visual journalists and covers digital, legal, physical and psychological safety aspects.

It is intended as an expansive primer to be applied and referenced in your commissioning work, in addition to the existing best practices available and the resources already provided by your organization. The course will provide additional external resources and information for further support in building a culture of safety and care in your newsroom.

This course is designed on the "Before, During and After" framework which is used in other fields such as medical and psychological triaging. The B/D/A framing is useful for safety planning because it is not rigidly divided, instead it crosses and reflects across each section continuously, encouraging an ongoing thought process around safety.

This course is designed to be self-paced. It can be done in one go or in stages. You should allow at least 3 hours in total for completion. 

After completing this course, you will:

  • Be able to set up, evaluate and expand on a thorough risk assessment and communications plan.
  • Understand what it means to be identity-aware and trauma informed in your approach to safety mitigation practices.
  • Be familiar with “duty of care” and be able to assess organizational risk for individual assignments.
  • Understand how you can support journalists’ situational awareness when they are in the midst of an assignment.
  • Be aware of forms of trauma and psychological aid.
  • Understand best practices for post-assignment debriefing and incident reporting.
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Ready to start learning?

The Fundamentals of Safe Commissioning

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