A Thoughtful, Analytical Approach to NGO Security

Free Media and NGO Security

Yesterday the Free Media Movement (FMM), Sri Lanka, sent me an e-mail announcing their new website. A quick review of the new site reminded me of how valuable FMM and similar sites can be to NGO security officers. The risks faced by independent journalists are similar to those faced by NGOs working in the same area. Official and factional attitudes towards free media often reflect attitudes towards NGOs, especially human rights organizations. Therefore actions against journalists can be indicative of impending risks for NGOs.

There is another reason as well. Sooner or later you and your organization are going to face a crisis. When you do there is a very good chance you are going to have to talk to the media. Independent media sites can help you find credible, non-partisan journalists who will be willing to listen objectively to your side of the story.

The FMM site also has a link to “On Assignment: A Guide to Reporting in Dangerous Situations”, a security guide for journalists working in conflict zones. Although it is intended for journalists much of the information is of value to NGOs as well. It is worth the download just for the resource links.

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