Safety of journalists

Journalists around the world are increasingly being targeted or killed for their work. But journalism is not a crime.

IMS defends the rights of journalists and works to ensure that they can operate safely in countries where journalists are harassed or attacked for doing their job or where conflict increases the dangers of covering stories.
As part of our work to support the building of national safety mechanisms for journalists with buy-in from local, national and international partners when possible, our approach to safety for journalists combines specialist safety training with practical safety measures and advocacy for safer media working environments.

The IMS safety package includes:

  • Training in: Risk analysis and threat mitigating, first aid, secure communications, conflict sensitive journalism, media laws and code of conduct etc.
  • Practical measures: 24/7 hotlines, safe houses, safety fund, safety equipment, legal assistance, emergency assistance etc.
  • Advocacy: Monitoring of attacks and threat levels, coordination of international support, development of guides and handbooks, engagement of governments in the protection of journalists through better laws and understanding of the role of journalists, facilitating dialogues between security forces and media to further mutual understanding etc.

Our work is aligned with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and Issue of Impunity, a worldwide framework aiming to create a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers, both in conflict and non-conflict situations.

Global safety

The Global Safety Programme (GSP) is an innovative safety model, where IMS works with international partners to support the creation and development of national-led safety mechanisms – both people and processes – that need to be in place to ensure that the safety tools – both reactive and proactive – at a country’s disposal are used to maximum effect to manage risk for journalists and media houses.

What we do

  • Develop innovative methods to interlink the four pillars of democracy and civil society around the three Ps of safety – Prevention, Protection and Prosecution – that underpin the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
  • Connect the national, regional and international emergency response, advocacy and media development communities and build strategic alliances around the GSP’s core 5 principles – strategy, presence, reach, collaboration and sustainability.
  • Support these alliances to coordinate and deliver a holistic range of digital, physical and psycho-social tools, ranging from reactive measures, from assistance to journalists in distress, to preventive measures, such as advocacy, training and focus on ending impunity through effective judicial measures.
  • Develop a comprehensive action-orientated approach to gender-based violence against the media and how to counter it at national level.



Ia Kldiashvili
Ia Kldiashvili

Programme Manager, IMS

Phone: +45 8832 7000

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The Safety Fund

The Safety Fund provides immediate support for journalists who are victimised as a direct result of their journalistic work.

The support is made possible through donations made by members of the Danish Union of Journalists and is used in cases where:

  • A journalist has been killed or rendered otherwise incapable of sustaining his/her family;
  • A journalist is in need of immediate protection as a result of a direct threat (relocation, safe houses, evacuation out of the country or region);
  • Urgent legal or medical assistance is required.

Support is given only in the short-term, and no longer than 6 months, covering the immediate needs of the individual or his/her close relatives. The Safety Fund cannot be used as humanitarian support to journalists in cases where individuals are affected by natural disasters.

All cases are carefully vetted and support is coordinated with other members of the Journalists in Distress (JID) Network, a group of 24 international organisations assisting journalists and media workers whose lives or careers are threatened because of their work. The JID Network was established in 2006 to allow member organisations with freedom of expression mandates to more easily share information, coordinate joint efforts and avoid duplication.



Line Wolf Nielsen
Line Wolf Nielsen

Communications and Press coordinator, DJ Safety programme manager

Phone: +45 5210 7800

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Digital security

In the digital world of today, operating safely for media is as much an issue online as in the physical world.

In many closed societies, the internet is one of the few ways people can access independent, critical news and information. But staying online and accessible for their audiences has become a cat and mouse game that independent journalists and activists are forced to play with repressive authorities.

When their websites are blocked, their staff are surveilled and their equipment hacked, we support our partners in developing their ability to remain online, keep their files secure and ensure they can continue their work.

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