The Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF) and the centre's office in Gaza recently concluded three training workshops on safety for Palestinian journalists, photographers and cameramen in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
These workshops addressed the dangers facing journalists in Palestine, especially in light of increasing violations and transgressions by Israeli authorities against Palestinian journalists.
The two centres carried out a series of workshops, targeting journalists in Gaza, West Bank, and occupied Jerusalem, focussed on teaching war reporting skills and improving their performance while working in a conflict zone.
“The idea of conducting these workshops came to us after the eight day Gaza-Israel war which targeted several journalists and media organisations,” said Nagham Mohanna, DCMF Gaza’s training and development coordinator. “During this war we saw that many journalists did not know to protect themselves and report during a conflict. We hope to prepare them with all the right skills through our workshops on safety, protection and risk management”
Safety of journalists in dangerous areas
The first and second workshops titled “Safety for journalists in dangerous areas” were held from February 9-11 at the Domina Coral Bay Hotel in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Journalists’ safety expert, Abeer Saady, conducted both workshops which were attended by a total of 27 participants.
“The challenges of this workshop are doubled since it targets one type of journalists with a specific set of skills and expertise,” said Saady. “More importantly, photojournalists and cameramen are most risk-prone since they’re easily identified as journalists due to the camera they carry and have to guard in addition to protecting themselves.”
The workshops also sought to shift the journalists’ priorities towards safety and risk assessment. Some of the most important topics that were covered during these sessions were: planning a risky assignment, personal safety, safety while travelling, covering demonstrations, protection from airstrikes and weapons, kidnappings and a review of first-aid procedures, as well as practical demonstrations on professional safety.
Safety of photojournalists and cameramen in dangerous areas
The third workshop titled “Safety for photojournalists and cameramen in dangerous areas” was held from April 19-21 at the Domina Coral Bay Hotel in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Saady trained around 15 photojournalists and cameramen from various news channels, agencies and websites in Gaza.
The workshop aimed to train photojournalists and cameramen on safety skills during coverage of different types of events.
Supervised by the Gaza Centre’s Mohanad Shahwan, these workshops covered a similarly wide range of topics including working on risky assignments, ensuring personal safety while on the road, protection from airstrikes and different weapons as well as covering violence-prone shows of civil disobedience.
“The participants were extremely happy to receive such trainings and were enthusiastic to attend more workshops that focus on safety and learning their basic rights which will protect them from the violators,” said Mohanna.
DCMF is committed to capacity building initiatives as an integral aspect of the centre's mission to encourage responsible and quality journalism which are essential in protecting and defending media freedom.