LONDON - The recently formed International News Safety Institute (INSI), a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the safety of journalists and media staff, have announced that they will hold their first AGM in conjunction with this year's News Xchange conference in Budapest, Hungary. The INSI AGM will take place on 5 November, the day before the start of this year's two-day News Xchange event.
INSI was launched on International Press Freedom Day, 2 May, in Brussels. Already supported by a coalition of more than 100 journalists' groups and top media organisations around the world, The International News Safety Initiative's stated objectives are to:
• Support and develop safety programmes for all news media workers on a global and local level.
• Encourage agreements on healthy and safety matters between employers and staff
• Disseminate information through practical training, advisories and literature
• Promote industry best practice for training, equipment and field work
• Investigate, develop and promote safety services including affordable insurance
• Establish a global network of organisations committed to risk-reduction
• Sponsor awareness-raising initiatives at media events
Following the war in Iraq in which 16 journalists died or are missing and the killing of journalists in Palestine, the INSI has called for new war crimes to be defined which will outlaw the killing of journalists or gross negligence that leads to the death of media staff.
"We are very pleased to work closely with the News Xchange to promote our efforts and reach out to broadcast news organisations on a global basis," said Rodney Pinder, director of INSI. "The News Xchange will bring together broadcast news professionals from around the world and provide us with a great forum to promote our objectives," he added.
Jean Stock, secretary general of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said: "We are very pleased to be associated with INSI and promote their efforts at this year's News Xchange conference." The EBU underwrites the News Xchange, the only not-for-profit international broadcast news conference outside the United States.
The EBU also sponsors the news safety website "Zero-Risk" (www.zerorisk-international.com) and plan to work with INSI to support and bolster their efforts to protect journalists.
Chris Cramer, president of CNN International and the keynoter at last year's inaugural News Xchange conference, serves as INSI's honorary president.