FFR: Supporting Local Freelancers – FREE EVENT
The Frontline Freelance Register invites you to the Club for a discussion on the challenges of working as a local freelance journalist with their Mexico chapter coordinators, Andalusia Knoll and Rodrigo Cruz. We will also be joined by Katya Malofeyeva, who is overseeing the launch of the next country chapter in Ukraine. The panel will be moderated by founder member, journalist Ed Vulliamy.
Local journalists do the same work as their international colleagues – but often in more lonely and difficult circumstances. They cannot always just pack their bags once they have completed an assignment, or if they feel physically insecure. While standards and principles have been set that are the norm for international freelancers, their local counterparts are being left out of the conversation and behind in the established standards.
In 2013 the Frontline Club Charitable Trust, in collaboration with a group of international freelance journalists, established the Frontline Freelance Register to be a representative body advocating for their safety and better welfare. Now, FCCT is launching individual country chapters to connect local freelancers to its network and to advocate by their side. FFR and the local freelance chapters will represent two groups from whom most of the worlds verified news about conflict originates. The country chapters will give local freelancers their own voice and allow them to operate and identify themselves as bona fide journalists.
The first country chapter that has been established is in Mexico, which officially launched last week in Mexico City. Frontline Freelance Mexico is a sister organisation to FFR, which was created after the assassinations and kidnappings of freelance journalists in war zones like Syria, Libya and Iraq. In Mexico, there is no declared war, but violence is on a comparable scale, making it one of the most deadly countries for press worldwide. In the last 19 years, at least 124 journalists have been murdered, including four since the new federal administration took office in December, according to the press freedom organization Article 19.
Frontline Freelance Mexico already has over 60 members signed up who based across 16 states, including Veracruz, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Michoacán, Guanajuato and other areas where journalists face significant dangers.
Ed Vulliamy is a journalist and author who has worked more than 30 years as a staff international reporter with the Guardian and Observer newspapers of London. He won all major awards in British journalism for hisÂ coverage of the Balkan wars between 1991-5, and discovered the gulag of concentration camps operated by the Bosnian Serbs in the Northwest Krajina region of Bosnia. As a result, he became the first reporter to testify at a war crimes tribunal since those at Nuremberg, giving evidence in nine trials at the ICTY in The Hague. He currently specialises in narco-traffic, winning the 2013 Ryszard Kapuski Prize for Literary Reportage for his “Amexica: War Along The Borderline” and was shortlisted for the same prize in 2016 for “The War Is Dead Long Live the War, Bosnia: The Reckoning”. Vulliamy is currently producing a film on the Colombian peace process and writing a book on banks that launder the profits of drug trafficking. His most recent publication is a memoir through music, “When Words Fail: A Life With Music, War and Peace”.