IWMF News Safety Project – Inaugural Cohort
The IWMF News Safety Project is committed to helping improve the ability of journalists to report safely in an increasingly complex world. Since 2020, the IWMF has offered customized safety trainings for newsrooms and journalism associations based anywhere in the world. Our trainings are tailored to the journalists' holistic needs, whether they are related to safety on the ground, digital safety, or mental health and trauma.
In 2022, the IWMF released a step-by-step guide, detailing policies and best practices newsrooms can implement to protect staff members. We highlighted case studies from six months of our work with a wide range of newsrooms– from small specialized outlets in South Africa to established independent newsrooms in the United States.
Building off this pilot project, we will begin accepting applications for the IWMF’s Inaugural News Safety Cohort. Newsrooms selected will form part of an international support network and benefit from the following:
- Peer learning with newsrooms worldwide and ongoing engagement opportunities to share lessons learned and best practices with the journalism community.
- Customized safety trainings with a gender and identity lens and support with developing newsroom safety protocols.
- Access to the latest resources and one-on-one consultations with leading safety experts.
- Access to the IWMF’s emergency funds and mental health resources for staff.
The deadline for the first cohort is April 17. In this initial phase of the program, we encourage newsrooms that fit the following criteria to apply:
- Newsrooms committed to working on safety policies and training for a minimum of three months.
- Newsrooms with an ambassador who can make and implement changes in the newsroom. Commitment from senior newsroom leaders to participate in the cohort.
- Newsrooms committed to the safety of their journalists who do not have access to in-house safety resources — this could include small, nonprofit, investigative, local, and/or independent newsrooms.
- Newsrooms reporting on underserved communities and/or extremism who may face significant threats due to this coverage.
- English-speaking newsrooms. Please note that we aim to expand our language offerings in a future phase of the program.
If you have any questions or are experiencing any accessibility issues with the application process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional resources available:
- ‘A Guide to Protecting Newsrooms and Journalists Against Online Violence’ contains a step-by-step process to help newsrooms mitigate risk, raise awareness, develop policies, and issue statements of support on behalf of journalists.
- ‘A Mental Health Guide for Journalists Facing Online Violence’ provides easy-to-implement, downloadable exercises to help manage the mental health toll of online abuse.
- The IWMF’s Emergency Fund provides small grants to women journalists of any nationality for psychological and medical care, temporary relocation, and legal support for incidents directly related to threats and crises caused by their reporting.
- The IWMF's Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund (BJTRF) provides financial assistance for Black journalists of any gender and nationality facing financial hardship who are unable to pay for mental health services.
- The IWMF offers one-on-one safety consults for individual journalists facing any form of immediate threat to their safety. Journalists in need can request a consultation here.
- The Coalition Against Online Violence is a collection of global organizations working to find better solutions for women journalists facing online abuse, harassment, and other forms of digital attack. The Coalition's Online Violence Response Hub is a resource center where women journalists can find the latest information on online abuse.