The battle for Mosul and race for the White House: October update from Down Under

There were several motivations for my trip to Australia. INSI is an international organisation with members around the world and it is important to understand how the changing safety environment has affected each of them and how INSI can support them.

We also wanted to explore the possibility of finding new members in the region and show our colleagues what it could mean to them to be part of a global news safety network.

During my time in Sydney and Melbourne, I met representatives  from News Corp, ABC, Channel 7, the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) and Australian Associated Press (AAP), as well as the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) and the Asia Pacific arm of the Dart Centre. 

In addition, I spoke with a wider audience, exploring concerns and assessing appetite for a regional network, which would be non-competitive and possibly similar to the regular regional meetings coordinated in the UK and Europe by INSI.

I also took part in a panel discussion entitled 'Journalism in the Age of Terrorism' hosted by Fairfax Media at The Age newspaper in Melbourne, and an industry discussion hosted by News Corp Australia in Sydney.  

Throughout these conversations a number of key safety themes kept emerging. I will be following up my visit with a report outlining them for those I met and hope to be able to share collective concerns so we can explore ways to address them and continue the positive conversations in a more formal network, with the idea being that it could potentially become a regional chapter of INSI.

In the meantime, I'm extremely grateful to colleagues for the warm welcome in Australia and for being so open to share their experiences.

Press freedom restrictions limit fundamental values

INSI board member and CEO of Swedish Radio Cilla Benkö voiced her concerns that restrictions on press freedom and freedom of speech in Europe and beyond are leading to the loss of fundamental values. At the Prix Europa ceremony in Berlin, she said societies without a functioning media are a breeding ground for extreme political movements.

Battle for Mosul

As the battle for Mosul rages on, the situation for journalists working in the area has become particularly dangerous.

In recent weeks two media workers have been killed and many more have been injured.

INSI has been working with members who are covering the fighting by providing regular advisories and information exchanges.

Covering big events safely

With US presidential candidate Donald Trump branded a threat to press freedom, and outright hostility and threats to journalists from his supporters, the upcoming US election looks set to be a risky assignment. 

We sat down with BBC High Risk Safety Advisor Tim Moffat to discuss how to cover big events safely.

James Foley Freedom Run

INSI staff took part in the second annual James Foley Freedom Run to honour journalists who risk their lives trying to shine a light in dark places.

The 5-kilometre run took place in various locations around the world to remember Foley who was murdered by the Islamic State in Syria in 2014.