Rising Risks in Journalism Require Real Safety Training

Jack Losh writes for FFR in World Press Photo's Witness Magazine this month about the importance of first-aid training for freelance journalists operating in conflict zones and other hostile environments. In the face of unprecedented risks and the industry’s increasing reliance on freelancers, it is unarguable that freelancers need to know how to treat life-threatening wounds and prevent unnecessary deaths.  However, when does too much learning become dangerous?  While some courses focus on the fundamentals: how to apply tourniquets and chest seals; when to give CPR; how to dispense blood-clotting agents to control traumatic bleeding; when to place someone in the recovery position.  Other courses take it to a far more specialized level: inserting tubes into patient’s airway to manage their breathing; carrying out triage at mass-casualty incidents; utilizing SAM splints. In extremis, these courses may even teach how to deal with a chest wound by penetrating a person’s torso with a needle.   This article explores both side of the argument and interviews course providers about the content their training.  Read the full article here and follow FFR's blog on Medium and Witness to keep up to date on issues affecting freelance journalists.