21 Yemeni journalists have been killed in the past three years while covering the war in the country. One of the reasons for their killing was the lack of training on occupational safety during the coverage of conflicts and wars.
Nearly 50 cases of attempted murder of journalist and photojournalists have been recorded. murder since 2015 to date. In line with these accidents, it has been found that these journalists and photojournalists did not follow the methods of occupational safety while performing their jobs in dangerous areas.
Yemeni journalists lose their lives or they could have major injuries because of their lack of awareness of occupational safety rules or they have not received appropriate training on occupational safety when they cover conflict coverage.
Journalists and photographers often go to the wrong places during clashes, and they cover events without planning, preparation and coordination with local people in the conflict zones. In addition, they go to dangerous areas without having safety tools.
Avoiding the risks that threaten the lives of journalists in Yemen is not the responsibility of journalists alone. The media organizations and the human rights organizations concerned with defending media freedoms are also responsible for training the journalists on occupational safety skills and on how to work in dangerous situations during conflicts.
Reviewing the circumstances of killings and injuries of journalists while covering the conflict in Yemen, it was found that the journalists in many cases did not distinguish themselves from the fighters in terms of choosing their places during coverage based on an already formulated plan so that they would know what they want to cover and return to their offices and workplaces.
This does not mean that journalists are not targeted by warring parties. The facts prove that journalists and photographers were a main target of the parties. But the journalists should not make themselves easy targets and they should protect themselves as much as possible. A journalist's life is more important than the news story.
Over the past period, it was noticed that young, armature and untrained journalists were covering the conflicts. In such cases, the media organizations are committing gross mistakes that could lead correspondents or photographers to death.
This dangerous situation of journalists denotes that they need to receive training on occupational safety to cover conflicts and wars. This is what the Mansa Foundation seeks through coordinating with partners who are interested in the occupational safety of media professionals.