On the media: Unprepared, inexperienced and in a war zone

Talk Wednesday 27 February 2013, 7:00 PM

A year ago, in the midst of the uprisings across the Arab world, when the news agenda was moving at a relentless pace, we brought together a group of journalists to talk about the practicalities of life as a freelance foreign correspondent.

One year on, we take stock of the opportunities, challenges and risks that we have seen for freelancers. Should inexperienced freelancers be deterred from heading straight to conflict zones, or should training, insurance and guidance be more freely available?

In a recent piece for BBC College of Journalism Stuart Hughes writes about the risks being taken by inexperienced freelancers. As more and more choose to cut their teeth in the field rather than in local newsrooms, Hughes will be joining us with a panel of journalists and editors to discuss what precautions need to be taken to keep them safe.

Chaired by Stuart Hughes is a senior world affairs producer with BBC News. He has worked in international news for more than a decade. Working alongside some of the BBC’s most respected correspondents, he has covered major news events around the world, including the 9/11 attacks, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East conflict and the Arab Spring.

The panel:

Aris Roussinos is a freelance journalist, filmmaker and television news producer. Over the past two years, he has reported from Libya, Bahrain, Tunisia, Greece and Sudan.

Julia Macfarlane is a freelance journalist working in Asia and the Middle East, having most recently freelanced in Lebanon for an independent documentary and BBC News as well as blogging on the Middle East for the Independent.

Hannah Storm is the director of the International News Safety Institute (INSI). Before joining INSI she worked as both a freelancer and a staff journalist for a number of broadcasters and news organisations, including ITN, Reuters, the BBC and The Times.

Colin Pereira, head of safety and security at ITN, he is responsible for the security of ITN operations in high risk environments. Previously he was deputy head of the BBC High Risk Team. He has advised on thousands of deployments around the world, ranging from the London riots to deploying crews to downtown Mogadishu. He is also head of high risk for 1st Option Safety, specialising in production and freelance safety.

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