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AFP: reinforcement of security guidelines for coverage in Syria
AFP has been covering the bloody conflict in Syria for more than two years. Conditions inside the country are extremely dangerous and many journalists have been killed, injured or kidnapped since the conflict started. A contributor to AFP’s video service disappeared in November 2012.
Faced with the worsening of conditions on the ground for journalists, AFP has reinforced its procedures for covering the conflict in Syria with the aim of improving safety for everybody working for the agency inside the country.
- All journalists working for AFP in Syria (text, photo and video) must have volunteered to cover the conflict.
- All AFP staff working inside Syria must have taken an AFP-approved hostile environment training course.
- AFP will continue to cover the conflict on the ground with its own staff journalists, as it has done since the beginning of the unrest.
- AFP will also continue to use independent contractors (stringers) inside Syria. These contributors fall into two categories:
- Independent journalists who offer their production to AFP occasionally. In most cases, these journalists would be photographers or video producers with whom AFP has no links. AFP will ensure the reliability and credibility of the journalist and sign the necessary copyright documents;
- Independent journalists with whom AFP has a regular ongoing relationship. In this type of situation, AFP would put the following measures in place:
- These journalists would be approved in line with the editorial principles of the agency (reliability, quality of work, experience) under the authority of the Editor-in-Chief.
- If AFP believes the minimum security conditions for a reporting assignment are not met, AFP will inform the stringer in writing and state that AFP will not buy any production from the assignment if it goes ahead.
- These stringers are obliged to have insurance.
- A hostile environment training course will be provided for regular contributors to AFP.
- AFP will provide the relevant safety equipment for war zones including a bullet proof vest, helmet, protective suit and first aid kit.
- These contributors are free to work for other media, but when they are working for AFP their production will be exclusively for AFP clients.