SAFE Journalist Training & Resources

Practicing Safety and Awarenessin the Field Every Day

Threats toward media of any kind, including news media, have escalated across the United States over recent years. Arrests and assaults of journalists have significantly increased. The risks to the safety of journalists reporting from the field are especially elevated. These resources are designed to provide newsroom managers, field journalists and freelancers with the knowledge and tools to stay safe during daily reporting and escalated events including civil unrest.

SAFE Basics Training

Part 1: Situational Awareness

You cannot say safe if you are not aware of your surroundings. This can be especially challenging for the multi-tasking, on-air field journalist. Test your observation skills, learn strategies to build your awareness and create your safety action plan.

Read articleDownload [PDF]

Part 2: Safety Equipment for Civil Unrest

During civil unrest, physical threats to observers including media increase substantially. Covering unrest requires particular safety precautions and protection including head, eye and respiratory How to select and deploy protective gear.

Read articleDownload [PDF]

Part 3: Verbal De-Escalation

Verbal De-Escalation is a skill any journalist can use to help calm an upset person they may encounter. This skill is used by public safety officials and mental health workers to prevent confrontations from escalating.

Read articleDownload [PDF]

Chris Post

Trainer: Chris Post

Chris Post is a staff photojournalist at WFMZ-TV in Allentown, Pennsylvania. A former firefighter and emergency medical technician of over 20 years, Chris transitioned to the field of journalism in 2009 picking up the camera he always loved since learning analog photography in the 1980’s.

Chris has blended his former occupation into his new career and specializes in covering breaking news, working in remote locations and disaster sites. Chris formerly worked with the United States Antarctic Program as the Captain of Fire Rescue at McMurdo Station, Antarctica and as a prehospital EMS provider in the Philadelphia region.

Having a deep understanding of the dynamics of emergency services and situational awareness has given Chris and edge when covering media rich events where police, fire and ambulance personnel might be hesitant of press interaction. Chris is the National Chairperson of the Safety & Security Committee for the National Press Photographers Association.



Stay tuned for SAFE Basics Training topics to come.

Always report crimes, including threats, against yourself or your newsroom to law enforcement, to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker and to RTDNA at

Find additional resources to know your rights, report responsibly and stay safe below:

Stay safe

Committee to Protect Journalists safety guidance for civil matters and disturbances
Committee to Protect Journalists safety advisory for covering US protests
Committee to Protect Journalists emergency post-incident resources
Al Tompkins' civil unrest safety and coverage guide
RTDNA's guidance for journalist arrests

Know your rights

National Press Photographers Association guidance on rights and safety
Poynter guide to journalists' rights and safety in covering protests
RTDNA Know Your Rights video discussion and PDF guide
RCFP Legal Defense and FOIA Hotline

Report responsibly

RTDNA's guidelines for covering civil unrest
Words Matter: The Language of Unrest
Ethical questions for journalists covering protests
RTDNA's guidelines for balancing privacy
RTDNA's guidelines for live coverage

Twitter threads

Click/tap on each tweet to view the full thread.