ACOS Launches News Organizations Safety Self-Assessment

The ACOS Alliance today launched a News Organizations Safety Self-Assessment to help news outlets review and improve their current safety practices and protocols.

This resource is a collaboration between ACOS Alliance, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, Free Press Unlimited, Frontline Freelance Register, the International Federation of Journalists, International News Safety Institute, International Media Support, International Press Institute, the International Women’s Media Foundation and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.

The News Organizations Safety Self-Assessment comprises a brief set of key questions and guideline notes that should prompt a constructive conversation around safety best practices and encourage practical and effective ways to advance such practices.

The Self-Assessment will help news organizations to identify and better understand their own weaknesses and strengths in relation to the security of all individuals working for them who can be exposed to danger. It pays special attention to gender issues, mental health care, digital security needs and working with freelancers and fixers -- aspects which are often neglected in organizational policy and protocols. 

The Self-Assessment includes links to relevant articles, reports, guides and other existing resources, and features a basic glossary. The organizations involved in this initiative recognize the crucial role that news managers, publishers, executive directors and editors play in advancing a culture of safety, and have come together in partnership to create and promote this useful tool

“Although this is a resource primarily aimed at news management, we encourage anyone in the news chain to use this tool to learn more about their organization’s safety provisions and start a productive conversation around safety issues,” Elisabet Cantenys, Executive Director of the ACOS Alliance, said. “Keeping safety protocols relevant is a major challenge for most news organizations. Here we offer a practical and useful tool, which we hope will take us a step closer towards embedding a culture of safety.

“Aside from the moral imperative to protect all the individuals who contribute to a news product,” Cantenys continued, “investing in a robust safety policy and protocols can save an organization from the financial loss and reputational damage of a crisis that could have been prevented, or could have been carefully managed.”

The News Organizations Safety Self-Assessment can be found here. Leading up to World Press Freedom Day, May 3, the Self-Assessment will be made available in five additional languages: Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and Portuguese.

For more information, please contact: Elisabet Cantenys, [email protected].