Travel to serious hotspots: guides for journalists, “Don’t forget guards may speak your language”

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Reporters Without Borders publishes a free Handbook for Journalists with useful info for serious travelers. Seemingly safe places can quickly be overcome by events and leave travelers in peril in unfamiliar surroundings. Preparation is key to reacting prudently.

Chapter 2 has succinct health precautions, including on yellow fever vaccination, of which there is much confusion on country requirements.

Chapter 3, “Safety behind the lines,” has common sense tips useful in any environment.

Chapter 4, “Safety in war zones” may seem a bit extreme for most audiences, such as dealing with snipers and the ‘echo effect,’ but again there is advice applicable to all, such as a list of pointers on going through checkpoints including to not leave your vehicle or turn of your motor if not requested, and “Don’t forget guards may speak your language, so be careful what you say.”

Chapter 6 has useful step-by-step first aid instructions though does not include illustrations.

The Committee to Protect Journalists publishes a similarly themed guide, On Assignment: Covering Conflicts Safely. Though its main content is brief, included is a suggested reading list with fascinating articles such as “Advice for Photographers Covering Demonstrations.”

See the earlier posts (1 and 2) on tips and quips from war correspondent Mort Rosenblum.

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