PETALING JAYA: Journalists must be provided with full protective gear such as bullet-proof helmets and vests when covering assignments in war-torn or conflict zones, said the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Its general secretary V. Anbalagan reminded media employers that they were responsible for the safety of their employees sent to these areas.
He also urged employers to take insurance policies that would cover the deaths or injuries of their employees.
“If they are not covered, employers should seriously reconsider whether to send them for such assignments,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Anbalagan said employers must also provide briefings on the dos and don’ts of covering events where their employees’ lives would be at risk.
“The NUJ has provided some guidance to its members on measures to be taken when they were assigned to cover the recent Bersih 2.0 rally,” he said.
He said NUJ would soon relase a safety guidebook for journalists who were assigned to cover natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, as well as social unrest – both locally and overseas.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), in a statement, said Malaysian authorities and organisers of such missions needed to clarify the protection measures undertaken for accompanying journalists.
The CIJ also said that journalists must be fully aware of the conditions and risks of their assignment besides having the right to decline such tasks if they think the safety measures are inadequate.
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