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The killing of a reporter

Following the death of Swedish Radio Correspondent Nils Horner, this session focused on the aftermath of the murder and examined the various safety precautions in place for journalists covering danger zones.


Cilla Benko (Swedish Radio) spoke about how this murder sparked outrage in relation to security measures for journalists. Some things, said Benko, cannot be prepared for.

Caroline Wyatt (BBC Defence Correspondent) echoed Cilla’s thoughts – “I don’t think you can ever get rid of the risk”.

Benko described the aftereffects of her colleague’s murder – these things are never expected. She advocated Nils Horner’s work, his dedication and his passion for his job.

“He wasn’t in the wrong place at the wrong time… he was targeted. He was on a semi safe street doing research and two people shot him in the back of the head. How do you protect yourself from murder”?

Hannah Storm (International News Safety Institute, UK) spoke firmly and said that there was training available for journalists in high-risk areas.

Caroline Wyatt was asked about her position in the field as a female journalist. Does this make the job more difficult? The answer was more complex – in some ways being a women did make the job trickier, but in other ways it meant that she was less threatening.

Both Caroline and Hannah offered advice to those who were considering entering a conflict area as a journalist. It is important to continuously reassess security situations. And social media is important – Facebook can prove a useful tool for security updates.

Cilla noted that media organisations not only carry the responsibility of their journalists but they also have a duty of care to the local journalists.