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The International News Safety Institute (INSI) is a unique coalition of news organisations, journalist support groups and individuals exclusively dedicated to the safety of news media staff working in dangerous environments.
It is a not-for-profit charity, supported entirely by membership contributions which are channelled back into safety work.
INSI’s purpose is to create a global safety network of advice and assistance to journalists and other news gatherers who may face danger covering the news on international assignment or in their own countries.
It raises funds to provide safety training free of charge to journalists in need around the world who are unable to afford their own. It promotes measures to improve safety understanding among news organisations, militaries, governments and international bodies.
INSI is managed by journalists and overseen by an Executive Board representing major news organisations, unions and journalist support groups who are committed to safety in news coverage.
More than 1,000 journalists and critical news gathering support staff – translators, fixers, drivers and the like – have died covering stories over the past 10 years. Many died on international battlefields or on assignment to natural disasters. Most died in their home countries as they covered corruption, crime, unrest and other dangerous stories.
The majority were murdered by elements that feared exposure of illegal activities. The free flow of information, on which enlightened societies depend for efficient government, business and public education, is constricted whenever journalists are killed, beaten, threatened and forced to work in fear of their safety and that of their families.
Reporting dangerous stories can never be completely safe. But INSI believes it can be made safer.
Put simply, we aim to help journalists survive the story.
Alarmed by the rising death toll around the world, journalists decided to act.
In response to a joint initiative by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the world’s biggest journalists’ group, and the International Press Institute (IPI), representing editors, media executives and prominent journalists, a number of news organisations, professional and press freedom groups, humanitarian organisations and individuals gathered in Brussels in November 2002.
This unprecedented coalition of the concerned agreed to establish the International News Safety Institute to promote best safety practice in news coverage including journalist training, operational procedures, equipment provision and health issues.
INSI says media rights should feature more strongly in global development programmes.
Democracies and free societies cannot exist without a functioning media system in which journalists can work safely.
That is why we urge that all media development work should begin with an audit of the quality of security and protection available to media professionals. Every country, rebuilding from a war or social conflict, or struggling to emerge from the misery of poverty and social dislocation, requires a media landscape that puts people in the picture and gives them a say about their future.
Creating a culture of safety in journalism adds to the capacity of media to contribute to building prosperous and confident democracies.
INSI is an international and non-political organisation, solely concerned with the safety of journalists and other news professionals, whether staff or freelance, in hostile environments of all kinds and in all places.
INSI was launched officially on World Press Freedom Day 2003.
As you care about your staff and about journalism, it makes sense to support and belong to the International News Safety Institute.
INSI raises money from international donors to provide safety training free of charge where it is most needed by journalists who have neither the resources nor the knowledge to secure their own. It is the only organisation doing this work in a focused and sustained way.
INSI acts as a hub for timely and relevant safety information through its website and a network of regional journalists.
INSI publishes news and practical guidance from journalists and other experts on dangerous issues and areas. It seeks not to point fingers but to educate and inform.
INSI promotes industry best practice for training, equipment and field operations, backed by the INSI Safety Code.
INSI encourages employers and individual journalists – reporters, editors, producers, photographers, camera operators and support teams – to adopt better safety procedures and provisions.
INSI seeks to promote better media-military understanding on the battlefield.
INSI liaises on safety matters with global and local news organisations as well as other journalist support groups and humanitarian agencies.
INSI works to investigate, develop and promote better safety services, including affordable insurance. INSI presents awareness-raising initiatives at news media events and strives to attract publicity for journalist safety-related issues.