European Federation of Journalists

New Training Centre for the Safety of Journalists and Media Professionals established in Greece

Credits: Journalists attending a safety training at the International and Peace Journalism Lab of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Peace Journalism Lab.

A new Centre for the Safety of Journalists and Media Workers has been established in Thessaloniki (Greece). The centre, whose opening was delayed by two years due to Covid-19 restrictions, will deal with issues related to the safety of journalists and media workers in war and crisis zones, as well as in daily work. It is supported by the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia and Thrace (ESIEMTH) and is under the scientific responsibility of the Peace Journalism Laboratory of the School of Journalism and Mass Media Studies in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

The Centre will offer a 29-hour course on the safety of journalists and media workers covering war zones. The course will be divided into two parts: theory and practical training in the field. The practical training will include counselling, assistance in providing appropriate equipment before and during the journalistic assignment and psychological support. In addition to the courses, the Centre has created support tools that journalists and media workers can use in the field or in areas where they face critical situations, such as natural disasters or humanitarian crises.

“The safety of journalists is threatened in a much more complex way than in the past, and not only in war zones or in crisis situations. This is why unions need to develop a more diverse and comprehensive approach to support and train media workers to deal with these threats,” says Nikolaos Karras, President of ESIEMTH.

Eight institutions and organisations signed the Memorandum of Understanding on 20 January 2023, including the Greek Secretariat General for  Communication & Media, the Municipality of Thessaloniki, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh), the Union of Journalists of Macedonia and Thrace (ESIEMTH), the Athens News Agency – Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) and the Greek public broadcaster (E.R.T.).

In May 2023, the Centre will hold its first training courses as part of the second edition of the Safety for Journalists Training School.