Release time: 11 January 2008
WOULD-BE citizen journalists should be aware that it often takes the eye of a trained and experienced professional journalist to recognise potential dangers and make strategic withdrawal when innocous situations suddenly become very serious.
The Chartered Institute of Journalists has issued a warning after a Chinese man was beaten to death as he used his mobile phone to film a confrontation between city inspectors and villagers in the Hubei provence, in central China.
After this shocking experience, the CIoJ are now calling on organisations that encourage their readership or viewers to rush out and provide material to think very carefully about whether they will take responsibility if similar attacks happen.
“What is more likely to happen is that these organisations will look at the ground, shuffle their feet and mumble protestations that it is nothing to do with them,” said Dominic Cooper, General Secretary.
“Citizen Journalists would do well to recognise that they will be entirely on their own should anything happen to them while trying to gather material for an outfit that will neither pay them for it, ensure they are trained, or provide any safety guidance or equipment.
“A number of years ago we warned that it was only a matter of time before someone was hurt, possibly killed, and now, tragically, that prophecy has come true. It is time for organisations that encourage this practice to warn of the potential dangers and take their duty of care more seriously.”
Press contact:Dominic Cooper, tel.< ><>, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chartered Institute of Journalists, 2 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, London SE16 2XU. Website www.ioj.co.uk
Notes for Editors:
Formed in 1884, the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) is the world’s oldest established professional body for journalists, and a representative voice of media and communications professionals throughout the UK and the Commonwealth.