INSI backs freelance safety standards

The International News Safety Institute joins over 20 media organisations and journalist support groups in backing a set of standards designed to improve the safety of freelancers working in dangerous places.

The standards for international news organisations and freelance reporters were released on February 12 in a document endorsed by major news organisations and media advocacy groups around the world including INSI.

Our research has shown that 105 journalists died in 2014, the majority of whom were local reporters, though international freelancers including James Foley and Steven Sotloff also lost their lives in Syria. Their murderers enjoyed near total impunity with virtually no legal proceedings taking place against any of the perpetrators. 2015 began with the murders of 22 of our colleagues.

“In such a dark time for journalists, INSI welcomes these international standards for safety. We hope they will provide a guiding light to all members of the industry to help them stay safe and recognise the crucial role that freelancers play,” said INSI director Hannah Storm.

Seven basic standards for journalists on dangerous assignments include ensuring they are trained in first aid, have adequate insurance and proper protective equipment. News organisations are urged to treat journalists and freelancers they use on a regular basis in a similar manner to the way they treat staffers when it comes to issues of safety training, first aid and other safety equipment, and responsibility in the event of injury or kidnap.

INSI is proud to join the following organisations in endorsing these standards.

Agence France Presse

The Associated Press


British Broadcasting Corporation

Committee to Protect Journalists

Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma

Frontline Club

Frontline Freelance Register

Global Journalist Security


The GroundTruth Project

Guardian News & Media Group

International Center for Journalists

James W. Foley Legacy Foundation

International Press Institute

McClatchy DC

Miami Herald

National Union of Journalists-Philippines


Overseas Press Club of America

Overseas Press Club Foundation

PBS Frontline

Public Radio International's The World

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues

Reporters Without Borders


Rory Peck Trust

USA Today