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Society of Editors and NUJ launch online safety ‘toolkit’

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A new online safety “toolkit” has been produced as part of a UK Government-backed plan to give greater protection to journalists.

The National Union of Journalists and Society of Editors have launched a mobile-friendly resource, which offers advice to help journalists protect themselves and their sources and technological ways to secure communications.

It covers physical safety, information security, mental health care, health and safety at work and gives advice on how to take action against abuse on social media platforms.

The free-to-access toolkit is part of the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists’ action plan to protect journalists from threats of violence and online abuse in the course of their work.

The committee was launched in 2020 to bring together representatives from government, journalism, policing, prosecution services and the civil service to work in collaboration to make sure journalists are free from threats and violence.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet, pictured, said: “With surveys and our own research showing that four in five journalists have experienced threats and violence at work and more than half of NUJ members experienced online abuse, something needs to be done.

“That is why we have devised a toolkit offering practical tips to journalists to help protect them while doing their job.

“But what needs to happen is a change of culture where it is totally unacceptable for journalists to be threatened and abused just for doing their job.”

SoE executive director Dawn Alford added: “Journalism plays a crucial role in our society and yet more and more often we are seeing journalists subjected to abuse, harassment and intimidation for simply carrying out their roles.

“The Society is committed to helping to ensure that journalists operating in the UK are able to do so without fear and the safety toolkit provides information, advice and resources to help reporters recognize their rights and the avenues available to help them work safely.

“The abuse of journalists must not be seen as part of the job.

“Abuse must be called out – and stamped out – if journalists are to be able to continue to speak truth to power.”

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