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Session 3a | Recovery: risk assessment

The most important part of any protocol is prevention – that is, measures that are taken to both minimise the risk of attack, and the harm that an attack can potentially cause.

When thinking about prevention, we saw the need for clear reporting lines. But this is just the first step. If an attack happens, and is reported, it is vital that the journalist who has been targeted gets a response that is rapid, human and effective.

This lesson will cover the “single contact culture” as a  good practice to establish in your newsroom to effectively respond to reports filed by the targeted journalist.

It will also place the focus on one of the key steps of the protocol: Assessing the risks of the attacks. The response team must look in more detail at the attack to assess the risk to the individual and the institution. This will include:

  • The likelihood that an online threat could turn into a physical attack
  • The damage caused to the reputation and credibility of the journalist and/or news organization
  • The emotional impact on the targeted journalist

Risk assessment is not an exact science, and will always involve a judgement call.