NCTJ’s industry forum meets to tackle ongoing issues around safeguarding journalists

The NCTJ’s safety and resilience industry forum met for the first time this week to address ongoing issues around safeguarding journalists.

Joanna Webster, from Reuters, is the the chair of the NCTJ’s safety and resilience industry forum

The NCTJ’s safety and resilience industry forum met for the first time this week to address ongoing issues around safeguarding journalists.

The purpose of the collaborative forum – chaired by Reuters’ interim global managing editor of visuals Joanna Webster – is to agree a set of preventative measures which will ensure journalists across the industry are prepared for the different threats associated with safety and resilience.

The forum discussed a range of topics including online safety, support for freelance journalists, mental health and wellbeing, the role of technology and the importance of training for all journalists including those in leadership roles.

A key conclusion was that the issue of safety and resilience – particularly online safety – is not going away and that preparing all journalists for these realities is the most important step forward.

Forum members are representatives from across the industry including Newsquest’s Toby Granville, Tim Singleton from Sky News, Laura Collins from National World, Cait FitzSimons from Channel 5, Shari Daneshkhu from the Financial Times, Reach’s online safety editor Dr Rebecca Whittington, John Neal from the BBC and Iliffe Media’s Ian Carter.

The actions from the meeting include:

  • Collate best practice to create an industry standard to be made available to all journalists including freelancers and students
  • Support NCTJ-accredited centres in delivering safety and resilience training as part of their courses
  • Explore leadership training opportunities to ensure editorial managers are equipped to manage safety and resilience – alongside general mental health and wellbeing – among their teams
  • Collate data and insight across the industry to understand the size and scale of safety and resilience issues

Speaking after the meeting, Joanna said: “The forum provides a great platform for us to collaborate as an industry and lay bare the key issues that journalists are facing every day while doing their job. It was great for us to come together to share experiences and best practice and identify positive steps forward which will make a real difference.”

Laura Adams, head of the NCTJ’s Journalism Skills Academy, said: “Safety and resilience remains an important issue and the forum has identified actions for training which will support journalists across the industry.

“The NCTJ plans to work with industry on an effective training programme and will use the forum’s insight to advise NCTJ-accredited centres on how best to equip their journalists for a career in the industry.”

The forum is scheduled to meet next in June.

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