The International Association of Women Journalists in Radio and Television (IAWRT) – Philippines launched its recent publication entitled “What To Do: A Guide to Understanding Attacks Against Women Journalists” last November 25, 2023 at the UP Hotel, Diliman, Quezon City.
This guide is intended to be used by women journalists in the Philippines to understand and address threats they commonly face. Data and practical tips included in this guide were lifted from training, interviews, and consultations of IAWRT Philippines with experts in the field.
Journalist Lady Ann Salem, who was arrested on International Human Rights Day in 2020 and detained for almost three months, said the manual is a handy and practical guide for her fellow truthtellers as they find themselves in difficult situations.
“These situations are things they used to just report about but now also find themselves in, with the increasing attacks against journalists through traditional means and now also social media and lawfare and the continuing impunity for crimes against them,” Salem said.
Salem, who is also the communications officer of the international board of IAWRT, said that during her arrest, “I saw how the stories I used to write, report or edit happened to me, in a checklist-like fashion. And my mind raced and protested at all my rights that the police violated then but I could not do anything about it because my life was literally in their hands.”
“It was a point that I think all my journalists’ safety trainings reached their limit – for what is a journalist to do amid 20 armed police in your home after they planted guns and explosives and are about to put you in jail. But it was also then that I knew that these safety trainings have helped me a lot up until that point. So innovations like this paralegal manual are always a welcome effort from journalists to give and offer to other journalists,” said Salem.
The manual was written and published as part of the Digital Safe House and Collaboration Platform for Women Journalists in the Philippines project of IAWRT Philippines, through its engagement with the International Media Support.
Limited print copies of the manual will soon be available. To get a digital copy, head on to https://bit.ly/What-To-Do-Digital.