Introduction

Over the last several years, killings, imprisonments and abductions of journalists have reached historic highs. These attacks represent a fundamental threat not just to individual news professionals, but to the practice of independent journalism. 

Locally-based journalists face by far the largest threat and endure the vast majority of murders, imprisonments and abductions. We call on governments, combatants and groups worldwide to respect the neutrality of journalists and immediately end the cycle of impunity surrounding attacks on journalists. At the same time, the kidnapping and murder of reporters James Foley and Steven Sotloff brought to light the growing risks faced by international freelance journalists.  

The undersigned groups endorse the following safety principles and practices for international news organizations and the freelancers who work with them. We see this as a first step in a long-term campaign to convince news organizations and journalists to adopt these standards globally.

In a time of journalistic peril, news organizations and journalists must work together to protect themselves, their profession and their vital role in global society.