Safety training for media a must
Thursday, 26 Jul 2018 - JOHOR BARU: Media practitioners are urged to take safety seriously and to have appropriate safety training to ensure they stay safe when covering high risks events.
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said NIOSH was looking forward to work with media organisations to hold training programmes for local media practitioners.
“NIOSH is also seeking feedback from various media organisations and journalists’ unions to draw up suitable induction training modules known as ‘Safety Passports’ for media practitioners,” he said during the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) programme for the media at the NIOSH southern region headquarters in Senai.
The OSH for Media programme is an initiative by NIOSH to raise awareness among the media on safety and health issues while doing their job.
“The International Code of Practice for the Safe Conduct of Journalism states that media personnel must be informed about the political, physical, and social terrain where they are working.
“They should also be properly equipped for all assignments, including the provision of first aid materials, communication tools, adequate transport facilities and where necessary, personal protective equipment,” he said.
He said according to a report by the International Federation of Journalists, at least 81 journalists were killed last year while on assignment.
He added that NIOSH had also received reports, which showed that employers did not observe the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (Act 514) and that the level of awareness among journalists was at a minimal level.
“The tragic incident where Bernama TV cameraman, Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, was killed while covering a humanitarian aid mission in Somalia in 2011 shows the importance of OSH among the media,” he said.
Lee said the Department of Occupational Safety and Health under the Ministry of Human Resources had introduced the Guidelines for Media Professionals following the incident.
“The guidelines act as a safe work procedure for the media while doing their coverage in dangerous zones.
“The job of the journalist is to tell the story, not become the story.
“A journalist who puts him or herself needlessly at risk is behaving in an unprofessional manner and could ultimately prevent the story from being told or the picture being seen,” he said.