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Journalism safety wiki tracks press freedom groups worldwide

Journalism safety wiki tracks press freedom groups worldwide

Taylor Mulcahey | September 06, 2017

A new website allows journalists to compare and contrast organizations worldwide that aim to protect media workers from threats.

Founders say they hope this resource will help journalists gain a better understanding of how different press freedom groups are pursuing their goals, what impact they’ve had, and what challenges they’ve faced.

Currently, the Journalists Protection Wiki profiles 15 press freedom organizations in countries that include Afghanistan, Mexico, Iraq and Colombia. Users can view country profiles that summarize the threats facing the local press, as well as profiles of various press freedom groups that include case studies and contact information.

The resource is an initiative started by Colombian press freedom group the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP), with backing from the Open Society Foundations and International Media Support.

 As FLIP Executive Director Pedro Vaca puts it in an introductory video that accompanies the site, “We want to know what [press freedom groups are] there, what has been successful and what can we learn?”

Journalists can use the wiki to compare the different approaches adopted by press freedom groups in a wide range of countries, and which ones involve partnerships with civil society groups, government agencies, non-governmental organizations or the media.

In the site's introductory video, FLIP coordinator Jonathan Bock explained that they want to help media workers more easily compare the various ways press freedom groups have pursued their goals, and what are the common challenges they’ve faced when doing so.

“[The wiki lets users] see what works in one context and another [so] we can have better tools and improve protection mechanisms for journalists’ protection,” Bock said.

When it comes to protecting journalists, “there are no magic formulas,” Bock said. “There are problems in common.”

The wiki has their own team of editors and researchers working to expand their database, but they are also seeking contributions from journalists, researchers and members of civil society. Those interested in getting involved can reach out to info@journalistsprotection.org.

So far, the wiki only covers 5 percent of the world’s countries, but those working on the initiative say the idea is to eventually create the web’s most comprehensive resource on how press freedom groups work.

“We need you -- your knowledge, your practices and your experiences,” said Alejandro Gomez Dugand, a Journalist Protection Wiki editor, during the website's introductory video. “To look each other in the face and talk about what happened is perhaps the best way to be able to face once and for all, in a global way, the violence and threats against journalists around the world.”

Main image is a screenshot of a video produced by Journalists Protection Wiki and is used with permission. 

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