Updates from our organization
Committee to Protect Journalists
Essential journalist safety information for 2022

It’s 2022. Have you refreshed your safety knowledge and practices yet?

With the new year underway, it’s a good time to review your approach to physical and digital safety. CPJ safety experts have compiled resources in five essential areas: 

1. Phone safety

  • Avoid giving sources your personal number – use a service like Google Voice instead. If you can, use a different SIM card for anything sensitive.

  • Use end-to-end encrypted messaging apps with sources, especially on your personal phone. 

  • Regularly back up and delete any work on your phone, including in apps in your cloud storage

  • Encrypt your phone and add a password. Set a PIN for your SIM card. 

  • Learn how to protect your phone when covering events and while travelling with our guides to civil disorder and crossing borders.

  • Read more: Digital Safety Kit

2. Online abuse

3. Arrest and detention

  • Encrypt your devices to prepare for possible detention. Back up work regularly to an external drive and delete it from your phone or laptop.

  • Review and delete content stored in your accounts and log out of anything you’re not using. Delete your browsing history regularly.  

  • Make a plan in case of arrest. Consider who to call and keep a legal contact to hand.

  • Do a risk assessment - have journalists been arrested before, and what for? Are you likely to be doing the same thing? 

  • Set regular check-ins with colleagues, family, or friends. Let them know when you will return, how often you will check in, and what to do if you are late.

  • Read more: Physical and Digital Safety: Arrest and detention

4. Protecting confidential sources

5. Legal protection

  • Always carry your press credentials and contact details for a legal representative.

  • Research curfews or access restrictions ahead of demonstrations, campaigns, or political events. 

  • If police request your recordings, equipment or notes – audio or video – you may refuse and tell them to contact your media outlet or its lawyers. 

  • For journalists in the U.S., CPJ and TrustLaw’s legal guide for journalists outlines best practices for media covering protests.

Read, bookmark, and share the highlights from CPJ’s safety information. For more information, visit CPJ Emergencies.

Do you know someone who could benefit from reviewing their journalist safety information? Share these resources with your network! 

Did someone forward you this email? You can sign up for CPJ’s journalist safety emails here.

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