This is a guide to some of the questions you may have about the program. Please reach out to msilva@iwmf.org  if you have something you would like to ask that is not covered here. 


I’m not a journalist, does that matter?

Not at all. We are looking for people who are passionate and interested in supporting the safety of journalists in the United States. You could be a qualified nurse, a teacher or data analyst. We are looking for a range of people with different skills and lived experiences for this program.  


Who can apply for this?

Currently we are accepting applications from women and non binary people within the United States. 


Do I need any qualifications to do this?

There are no formal qualifications needed to take part in this pilot program. We are interested to hear from people with a range of skills and different lived experiences. We want a diversity of thought as well as experience. 


What is the time commitment? 

This fellowship will take place over a year. You can expect to spend up to 20 hours a month on this program, either through virtual workshops or independent assignments. We will factor in the cohort’s availability as well as all holidays in the program schedule. There will be a break in programming in July.


Is this course accessible?

There will be physical elements of the training towards the end of the program, but this program is not dependent on your physical ability. There are many roles that you could be involved in that are not limited to able-bodied people. The majority of this program is virtual, and we will take all of the necessary steps to make any in-person programming accessible. We have a mental health expert in the leadership team and our content will be shaped to ensure that each participant has access to mental health support throughout their participation in this program. 


Are there any costs associated with this program? 

Your participation in this program will be fully funded by the IWMF, including a small stipend to support your participation in this program. 


What will this program prepare me to do? 

The goal of this fellowship is to give participants the basic skills that they need to:

  • Work as a trainer on a Hostile Environment & First Aid Training (HEFAT) course
  • Consult with media organizations and/or work as independent news room safety advisors
  • Deliver workshops on areas of relevant safety experience.

You will leave the program with a comprehensive understanding of risk management, digital safety measures, and an enhanced knowledge of emotional safety and identity based safety issues. This includes a deeper knowledge on the effects of and support for those who experience harassment and sexual violence both in the newsroom and in the field. You will also gain an in-depth understanding on the current threats to journalists in the United States. 


What does a HEFAT trainer do? 

  • Deliver lessons and contribute to realistic scenario-based training which reflect the current threats to journalists in the United States.
  • Manage the overall safety of participants on courses and deliver pre-planned training material.
  • Be conversant with changing safety measures, such as those related to COVID.
  • Deliver specialized modules of safety training relevant to your particular area of expertise that relate to current safety issues for journalists as well as ongoing safety concerns.
  • Demonstrate a passion for teaching and sharing knowledge.


What does a newsroom safety advisor do? 

  • Have a good understanding of your media outlet’s needs, in addition to how to support with relevant safety advice.
  • Create and implement risk assessments.
  • Understand security forces, including police and military tactics, non-state armed groups and criminal behavior.
  • Be able to act in a calm and reassuring manner under pressure in order to give clear and thought-out advice.
  • Have a keen sense of how to create an inclusive learning environment
  • Have an ability to work in complex situations which could include source protection, harassment and digital safety as well as how to escalate measures in relation to the threat.

Why is this program important? 

The dangers and risks for journalists in the United States grow more complex everyday, particularly for women journalists and journalists of color. To address these risks, journalists need safety advisors and trainers who understand their differentiated risks, and can help them address those risks. The problem is that these kinds of experts are hard to find- this program aims to mentor, train and support a cohort of women or non binary people that can fill this critical gap.