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Resources for Palestinian media

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Journalists in Distress (JiD) Network

The Journalists in Distress (JiD) Network is a network of media freedom organisations which provide direct assistance to journalists and media workers who are at risk because of their work.
It is an informal forum for sharing information on journalists in distress and developing joint initiatives for emergency response. It was formed in 2006 to allow international organisations with freedom of expression mandates to more easily discuss specific cases, coordinate joint efforts, and avoid duplication.
JiD's mandate is to:
  • Facilitate and provide assistance to media workers, through members, in line with their individual mandates.
  • Coordinate joint response to emerging crises that affect journalists safety and media freedom, in line with the mandate of the members and their capacity.
For assistance, visit the JiD website to find the relevant member organisation that can provide the help you need. Many of JiD members are featured in the resources listed in this Guide.

Logistical Support

Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

The Assistance Desk of RSF

The Assistance Desk of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) provides financial and administrative assistance to professional journalists and citizen-journalists who have been the victims of reprisals because of their reporting. RSF helps:
  • the victims of violence connected with their reporting to obtain appropriate medical care
  • wrongfully prosecuted journalists to pay their legal fees
  • threatened journalists to find a safe refuge journalists to resolve their most urgent needs if they decide to flee abroad because of threats and persecution
  • families of journalists to cope with the consequences of the reprisals to which their loved-ones have been exposed.
When the results of its research allows, RSF may also support applications for international protection or asylum submitted by professional journalists and citizen-journalists who have fled their country.

Support to media outlets and NGOs

RSF is also in a position to support the activities of media outlets and local NGOs that defend the media or freedom of information. This assistance is intended to help media outlets and NGOs to maintain or restore operational capacity in the event of problems (such as attacks, ransacking and vandalism). It may also contribute to capacity-building and development:
  • by facilitating training for their employees or members
  • by supporting campaigns and lobbying for freedom of information and for the protection of information providers.
The processing of applications for support and capacity-building requires more examination and preparation, and is therefore not as fast as the processing of applications by media outlets and NGOs that have been the victims of attacks or vandalism.

HOW TO APPLY TO RSF FOR SUPPORT?

Requests by individuals, NGOs or media outlets for assistance should be sent to:
Reporters Without Borders
Assistance Desk
CS 90247
75083 Paris Cedex 02
France

CONTACTS

  • assistance(a)rsf.org (+33 1 4483 6056): for NGO and media outlet requests for assistance
  • assistance2(a)rsf.org (+33 1 4483 8466): for individual requests for assistance

Moving personal protective equipment across borders

Safety

INSI first aid guide for journalists in a war zone

Understanding the basics of emergency medical care and carrying a trauma kit are the most fundamental needs of journalists in war zones. But much of the regular advice is useless to many journalists, such as those living under bombardment in Gaza, with no access to water and food, let alone to a first aid kit that would be minimum standard covering a protest in London.
Given these exceptional circumstances, the International News Safety Institute (INSI) has decided to produce a comprehensive but accessible guide for non-technical audiences, specifically meant for any journalists who are caught up in a trauma-related medical emergency with no access to a conventional first aid kit. The pamphlet has been published in both English and Modern Standard Arabic, explaining the fundamentals of trauma emergency support with little or no kit.

Essential Steps for Journalists in Emergency Situations (GIJN)

Journalists receiving threats may have to flee their homes in a matter of a few hours. Conflicts, though, are often foreseeable and that’s why those in fragile regions should have an exit plan in place and crucial documents ready to go. These documents will not just help reporters with travel, when needed, but may also help them to move to a safer region or country. The Global Investigative Journalism Network has listed what documents to gather as well as which organizations support journalists with relocation. The list is also available in Arabic.

IREX - SAFE

IREX’s flagship program Securing Access to Free Expression (SAFE) enables media practitioners and social communicators to work as safely as possible in closed and closing spaces.
SAFE equips individuals with the means to resiliently continue their important work, and manage—as well as mitigate—the risks and threats they face in their day-to-day work. SAFE addresses safety through the unique lens of digital identity, physical awareness, and psychosocial care by delivering trainings in five regions spanning the globe.

Physical Safety: War Reporting

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has compiled recommendations to mitigate risks when reporting from the front lines of a conflict. "All war correspondents should have hostile environment training, up-to-date medical training, and the correct safety equipment before going on assignment in a conflict zone."

Arrest and Detention

"Covering certain stories–such as human rights abuses, corruption, or civil unrest–can place you at a higher risk of arrest and detention, particularly in countries with authoritarian regimes or with a heavy militarized and police presence."

Digital Safety

Facebook

Facebook has established a Special Operations Center to respond to activity across the platform in real time. It is staffed by experts from across the company, including native speakers, to allow them to closely monitor the situation so they can remove content that violates their Community Standards faster. They have also launched a new feature that allows people to lock their profile to provide an extra layer of privacy and security protection over their information.
The FB Media Partnerships Team has launched a Journalist Safety Campaign which includes a new web destination for Journalist Safety and guides available in multiple languages that explain the content in the attachment (ex: setting up 2FA, reporting harassment, etc.). These guides will be updated as the content is updated moving forward.
The Meta Journalism Project offers Training and Support Resources: Equip yourself with resources to help mitigate digital safety risks and find organisations that can address other security concerns you may face — including legal issues, mental health and physical safety.

Pro-bono protection against DDOS attacks

If you are the victim of a DDOS attack, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) can refer your organisation to Cloudflare, an American web infrastructure and website security company that provides content delivery network and DDoS mitigation services. Cloudflare offers pro-bono protections against DDOS attacks for organisations referred by NED. For assistance, please contact [email protected].

Digital safety advice from CPJ

"Journalists should protect themselves and their sources by keeping up to date on the latest digital security news and threats such as hacking, phishing, and surveillance. Journalists should think about the information they are responsible for and what could happen if it falls into the wrong hands, and take measures to defend their accounts, devices, communications, and online activity."
See more on CPJ's Digital Safety Kit. You can also read their article about how to prepare for internet shut-downs.

Satellite Communication Threats

Risks are inherent in using any form of communication tool when speaking truth to power. Satellite communication tools are often rolled out quickly during crises as they provide critical access and are difficult – but not impossible – to block. However, the risks of using these tools must be considered.
Internews has published a guide discussing threats which are widely applicable to 2-way satellite communications devices, such as satellite phones and pagers, Inmarsat BGANs, Starlinks, and VSAT terminals.
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Internews Tech Support

Internews can support partners with anti-virus software, DDoS protection, hosting, VPNs and any ad hoc tech-related requests.
  • Anti-virus software - ESET: This is anti-virus software that works to protect your device against cyber intrusions such as malware attacks and data breaches. One ESET license can be installed on five different devices. Valid for three years.
  • Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Protection - Cloudflare: Cloudflare provides robust security to enterprises that are targets of DDoS and other cyber-attacks. Project Galileo has made that same security available for at-risk public interest websites at no cost. In an effort to keep participants safe from potential backlash, Cloudflare will not publicly announce sites involved in Project Galileo without explicit permission.
  • Hosting - Greenhost/eQualitie: Internews has limited available credits for web hosting, which may include services like migration or set up of tools, for example Nextcloud or Mattermost. Specific hosting requirements will be assessed.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) - TunnelBear: TunnelBear encrypts your internet connection and protects your privacy, which prevents hackers or other nefarious actors from viewing or accessing your browsing activity, hiding your real IP address, and helps you to bypass internet censorship. Valid for one year.

Five Ways to Stay Online During a Government Internet Shutdown

International nonprofit journalism organisation Rest of World has spoken to experts in privacy and security to get their advice on the tools and tactics for skirting shutdowns.
From the article, "Experts advise that if you live in a place where shutdowns are a risk — and that risk is spreading — be prepared. Download VPNs and other apps; be sure to have a contingency plan, including a phone number that doesn’t rely on the internet to connect; and have a phone tree of important people to call should something happen."

Open Technology Fund (OTF) Rapid Response Fund

To resolve digital emergencies, OTF's Rapid Response Fund works with partners who are highly sensitive to and well-aware of the specific needs and challenges of human rights activists, journalists, and the Internet freedom community.
Listed below are trusted service partners that offer technological services:

Tierra Común

Terra Común is a Latin American network made up of a group of professionals and experts in free technologies, computer protection and training that promotes a comprehensive approach to privacy and digital security.
Their main objective is for the people they work with to manage their own protection without intermediaries, without expensive software licenses, and gradually strengthening their own capacities.
Tierra Común provides the following services:
  • Advice: Consulting on digital security diagnosis and risk analysis and design of protocols and regulations in computing
  • Information backup
  • Communications receipt
  • Trainings: Basic and advanced computer self-defense
  • Technical support
  • Web services: Website creation and security audit
Languages supported by Tierra Comun:
  • English
  • Spanish
Reach out to Terra Común here: [email protected].

Greenhost

Greenhost offers web hosting from small, simple websites to complex setups with multiple Virtual Private Servers (VPSes) using 100% Dutch wind energy.
Greenhosts' web hosting services includes:
  • Clustered web hosting
  • Cloud platform
  • Deflect anti-DDoS protection
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS)
  • Real-time Monitoring
Please reach out to this dedicated address for rapid response requests: [email protected].

Qurium Media Foundation (QMF)

Qurium Media Foundation (QMF) is a Swedish digital forensic group that offers Rapid Response support. The pro-bono service is dedicated to independent media, investigative journalists and human rights activists in Internet repressive regimes that have been targets of digital attacks, or are likely to become a target due to its scope of work, and are in need of immediate support.
The support that Qurium assists with is classified in thee categories:
Preventative measures:
  • Sanitation and audit of at-risk websites – cleaning and upgrading outdated and insecure websites to improve resilience against attacks
  • Secure Hosting of at-risk websites – 12 months hosting with Virtualroad.org, including DDoS mitigation and forensics investigations of targeted attacks
  • Mentorship – a 3-6 months remote mentorship program to strengthen and improve existing organizational procedures in digital security. Available in English, Spanish and Arabic.
  • Customized support during special events – secure hosting and close monitoring of websites of public interest under election periods, military coups, and situations of civil unrest.
During attack:
Mitigation of ongoing attacks against websites, including:
  • DDoS attacks
  • Scanning and probing
  • Brute-force attacks
  • Unauthorized access
Post attack:
  • Secure Hosting – 12 months hosting with Virtualroad.org, including DDoS mitigation and forensics investigations of targeted attacks.
  • Sanitation of compromised website – identification and removal of malware/backdoors as well as insecure code to prevent future attacks.
  • Circumvention of Internet blocking – deployment of block-resilient mirror of blocked WordPress website (Bifrost)
  • Digital forensics – forensics investigation with focus on modus-operandi and attribution of targeted attacks, including:
    • Website attacks (DDoS, unauthorized access, scanning, probing)
    • Targeted phishing
  • Internet blocking of websites and web applications – forensics investigation of Internet blocking with focus on how the blocking is taking place, by whom and by which means.
  • Compromised mobile phones – digital forensics investigation of compromised mobile phones
Apply for Rapid Response support here.
Qurium may offer services that are not listed above, depending on its scope and the human resources available. If your needs don’t fit within the list of services, feel free to send an encrypted email to [email protected].

Totem

Developed in collaboration by Greenhost and Free Press Unlimited, Totem is an online learning platform that offers educational courses about digital security and privacy, and related tools and tactics for journalists, activists and human rights defenders in a safe, online classroom environment.
The Totem platform is built using the open-source Open edX MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) software. The platform has been carefully designed to be safe and privacy-preserving by collecting minimal data about its users and also using secure, modern encryption to prevent any eavesdropping.
The following are featured courses from Totem:
  • Risk analysis
  • Human rights documentation
  • Device security
  • How to protect your identity online
  • How to be a journalist and manage your online privacy
  • Tools for journalists to help identify their online abusers and the tactics that they use
  • Why field research matters
  • Going undercover on Instagram
  • How to bypass internet censorship
  • Good password management
  • Secure messaging apps
  • Phishing attacks
  • How the internet works
View all 63 courses here.

Fact-checking

Dalil

Communities across the MENA region need access to more reliable information. However, those intended to guarantee and deliver it are facing increasing challenges that result in a disjointed effort to tackle the growing spread of disinformation.
Dalil is a collaboration between Siren Associates, Siren Analytics, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), and Jordan Open-Source Association (JOSA)
DALIL is made up of a diverse team of policy researchers, fact-checkers, technologists, AI specialists, and engineers and provides fact-checkers in the MENA region with:
  • Capacity building opportunities and legal, psychosocial and digital support services.
  • A digital one-stop-shop of tools and methodologies needed to fight disinformation
  • Research, communications and advocacy support.
To request fact-checking assistance, submit an image, text, or video here.

New Tool Allows Researchers to Track Damage in Gaza

A new tool, originally developed by Bellingcat to estimate damage in Ukraine, has now been adapted and applied to Gaza. The tool can estimate the number of damaged buildings and the pre-war population in a given area within the Gaza Strip.
The tool has already been used by a number of media outlets and is freely available for anyone to use.

NewsGuard: Israel-Hamas War Misinformation Tracking Center

From doctored war videos to fabricated White House memos, NewsGuard is monitoring and reporting on the false, misleading, or unsubstantiated claims relating to the conflict.
To date, NewsGuard’s global team of misinformation analysts have identified 86 myths spreading across social media, and identified 306 sites spreading those myths.
NewsGuard has found that social media accounts and sites on both sides of the conflict have spread manipulated or AI generated images or video as real, and taken war footage out of context. In October, a NewsGuard analysis found that 74 percent of the most viral misinformation about the war on X (formerly Twitter) was published by “verified,” blue-check accounts.

Poynter: Misinformation about the Israel-Hamas war often follows similar false narratives

Fact-checkers with the IFCN have found false claims seeking to undermine victims’ suffering. Claims that Palestinians are faking injuries and deaths is just one of several misinformation trends to emerge from the war.
Other patterns detected by fact-checkers in the first months of the war include atrocities that lacked evidence; AI-generated images; out-of-context photos and video; video game footage passed off as real; and a wide variety of foreign policy claims about countries like Ukraine, Russia, the United States and Iran.
Read more here.

Map of fact-checking initiatives in Europe

The European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) "brings together fact-checkers, media literacy experts, and academic researchers to understand and analyse disinformation, in collaboration with media organisations, online platforms and media literacy practitioners."
The organisation has published a collection of resources and initiatives developed by the EDMO network together with its 14 EDMO Hubs to navigate the considerable wave of disinformation spreading on the Israel-Hamas conflict since 7 October 2023. The page is periodically updated with new resources.

Reporting Tips and Tools

How-to Guides: Reporting on the Israel-Gaza war

How do journalists accurately and ethically report on the conflict? These two IJNet articles provides tips and advice:
"Reporting violations in an active conflict, previously a daunting and life threatening task, has now become easier thanks to open-source reporting techniques. Thanks to much improved cameras in mobile phones, the digital media being uploaded by combatants themselves to social media and other sites online is now of a very high resolution. Couple that with the availability of high-quality satellite imagery and digital tools that let you sift through the masses of data being uploaded online, and reporters enjoy a much greater ability to investigate war crimes as they happen." Find out more on how to investigate war crimes in this GIJN article.

Mental Health Resources

IJN's Mental Health and Journalism Toolkit

The International Journalists' Network has collated ressources in this Mental Health Toolkit to address different aspects of the issue: from post-traumatic stress disorder to digital wellness.
Browse more of these articles and podcast here.

Leading Resilience: A Guide for Editors and News Managers on Working with Freelancers Exposed to Trauma

"A collaboration between ACOS Alliance and Dart Centre Asia Pacific, this guide is designed to help editors and managers understand and support their teams. It is divided into five sections covering both general information and specific suggestions and tips for working with freelancers."
This guide offers guidance on a numbers of key issues such as: culture of safety, exposition to trauma, resilience, risk of serious mental health issues.

Reporting War

The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma has put together this booklet, collecting recommendations for meeting the emotional challenges of covering war, from a group of seasoned veterans.
"While scores of journalists were confronting trauma and danger to cover the Iraq War, a group of seasoned veterans of such assignments took a brief break to gather at Bretton Woods, N.H., and talk about the emotional challenges raised by their duties in the field."

Tips for coping after reporting distressing and traumatic stories

"Journalists are generally resilient but they are not immune to trauma and distress, which Kinman said can lead to headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, intrusive thoughts, sleeping problems and nightmares. Some may miss deadlines because they can’t concentrate, or their time management skills may also deteriorate. They might experience panic attacks, anxiety, depression or substance abuse."

Rory Peck Trust's Resilience Programme

Resilience Programme provides specialist trauma-informed training and access to psychological treatment, enabling freelance journalists to develop the skills they need to build resilience when exposed to conflict or covering traumatic events.

Monitoring Crimes Against Journalists

Guide for Journalists on Documenting International Crimes

The Centre for Law and Democracy and News Media Europe launched the Guide for Journalists on How to Document International Crimes, with concrete recommendations for journalists and editors on how to capture information about international crimes so that it may be admitted as evidence in court.
The Guide provides advice about several legal issues in a way that is accessible to non-legal experts, including:
  • Privileges regarding the protection of confidential sources and not having to testify
  • What constitutes an international crime
  • Different types of evidence and basic rules regarding admissibility of evidence
  • How to gather information in a way that promotes its legal reliability and tips on doing this
  • Interviewing victims and witnesses
The Guide also includes a section on Resources with links to various written documents, apps and civil society organisations which can provide support.
The Guide was inspired by the invasion of Ukraine, but it is not tailored to that conflict and is, instead, applicable globally.
The Guide is available in English here, Burmese here, Ukrainian here and Russian here.
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Further Reading

BBC Brave New Media podcast

Brave New Media is a podcast featuring journalists and editors from around the world working to remain independent while working in fragile spaces. It explores the challenges faced by the media environment and what needs to happen so that it can become a tool that contributes to the public good.