No matter the form of journalism, from investigative to source reporter, from international correspondents to local coverage, from bloggers to photojournalists, prevention is always the first point. First of all, consider your safety. Monitor the “travel alerts” issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which will help you get an idea of the types of risks that may exist at the different points you want to cover.
Before traveling abroad:
- Investigate the terrain to cover, the story behind the event, the protagonists, the dynamics and social trends from various points of view. Seriously evaluate the risk factors before embarking on the trip.
- Know the basics of culture, routines and languages or languages of the place you intend to cover. Linguistic knowledge is very helpful, especially if you know basic terms and phrases.
- Prepare contingency plans detailed in case of emergencies, for more information about these plans you can consult the “Safety Manual for Journalists” prepared by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
- Don’t forget to hire a health insurance that fully covers your needs when traveling and during your stay.
- Establish points of contact with your family: so they can contact you or your hosts in case of an emergency. Do not forget to register your trip in the Registration System for your country abroad.
- Take into account that there are countries where you require a special visa for temporary or permanent informative missions. Check with the embassy of the country where you are going.
There are international organizations dedicated to providing assistance to journalists, such is the case of Reporters Without Bordersrecognized as a public utility organization in France and has consultative status with the United Nations and UNESCO.
Another International Organization that can provide you with useful information is Article 19 An example of this information is the “Practical security guide for coverage in risk areas”.
You must bear in mind that you may have to carry out temporary import procedures for the equipment and consumables necessary to carry out your professional duties. It is worth checking if the country you are going to is a signatory to the ATA Carnet Customs Convention, which considerably simplifies the process.
In the event of an eventuality or if you require assistance abroad, immediately contact your nearest consulate or embassy in your country. And do not forget to register your travel itinerary in the Registration System for your country abroad.