Iraq: IFJ Safety Advisory for reporters covering battle for Mosul

Three journalists from left to right: David Pratt from the Sunday Herald, Patrick Barth, of Getty Images, and Faris Rashid a Kurdish assistant, run for cover during shelling at an Iraqi post close to the village of Khazer. JOSEPH BARRAK / AFP

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has published a safety advisory for reporters covering the battle for Mosul, in northern Iraq. The advisory contains best practice and procedures for newsgatherers to minimize the risks and manage the threats they face while reporting the conflict.

The safety advisory includes a conflict analysis with key questions for journalists to assess the situation in which they are operating, advice on military tactics used by the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Mosul, operational media task planning when covering frontline combat operations and essential personal equipment including ballistic and chemical protective equipment that employers should provide.

It also advises reporters to familiarize themselves with the firearms and other types of weapons currently used in the battlefield. 

The safety advisory follows the killing last weekend of a journalist and a cameraman who died covering clashes between the IS and the government forces in Iraq. These killings took to seven the number of journalist and media worker deaths in Iraq this year, according to IFJ figures.

“Due to the high risk situation journalists and media workers face in Mosul, we urge all colleagues operating there to read this safety advisory,” said IFJ President, Philippe Leruth. “We have already mourned the death of two colleagues covering clashes in Iraq this week. We truly hope that this safety advisory will help not only to prevent journalists from being attacked or killed but also to remind employers of their responsibility to provide their crews with the necessary safety protection and training. Once again we call on journalists to be extremely cautious and take all necessary measures while reporting from Mosul". 

The safety advisory has been prepared by David Bevan, international media safety expert. 

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Follow the IFJ on Twitter and Facebook

Subscribe to IFJ News