NCTJ to play key role in national plan to protect journalists

The NCTJ is working to provide training for journalists reporting on police operations, as part of the Government’s first national action plan to protect journalists.

Published today, the plan sets out how journalists will be protected from threats of violence and intimidation, and is supported by law enforcement, broadcasters, publishers, industry bodies and unions.

The NCTJ is initially working with Surrey Police to develop a pilot workshop on journalism safety, and the interaction between police and journalists, to be delivered to journalism students at the University of Portsmouth.

If the pilot is successful, the face-to-face workshop template will be rolled out in conjunction with other journalism training centres wishing to take part.

In the action plan, publishers and broadcasters have pledged to provide training for staff and freelance journalists on managing threats to their safety.

In addition, the NCTJ plans to work with employers to make safety training available to journalists across the UK via its Journalism Skills Academy (JSA).

The JSA – supported by the Google News Initiative – is centred on a new e-learning platform, which delivers training activities, courses and resources for journalists and communications professionals at all stages of their careers, as and when required.

Will Gore, the NCTJ’s head of partnership and projects, who has been liaising with DCMS on the training aspects of the action plan, said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with all those who have signed up to take action on the future safety of journalists.

“Educating and training journalists to professional standards of safety and resilience are really important components of the plan to ensure journalists can do their jobs without fear, harassment and abuse.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Freedom of speech and a free press are at the very core of our democracy, and journalists must be able to go about their work without being threatened.

“The cowardly attacks and abuse directed at reporters for simply doing their job cannot continue.

“This action plan is just the start of our work to protect those keeping the public informed, and defend those holding the government to account.”