This Study on the State of Safety of Journalists’ Policies and Practices in Media Houses in Sierra Leone examined the Safety of Journalists’ Policies and Practices in Media Houses in Sierra Leone’ in forty-four media outlets (radio stations, television stations, newspapers and online media) spread across Sierra Leone. The key issues assessed are the trends of safety of journalists’ issues in Sierra Leone (including types of violations, perpetrators, gender of victims), number of media outlets that have a safety policy or manual, and number a specific policy for female journalists, what the practices are etc.
The findings generally show that majority of the media houses studied lacked a safety and security policy. There is no specific safety and security policy in those media institutions, although most of them stated that such issues are addressed in their editorial policy. Many journalists are not knowledgeable about tips on how to keep themselves safe in their line of duty and they exposed themselves to dangers when covering riots or demonstrations. They named most popular perpetrators of those violations as police officers, military personnel, politicians, civil servants, and community stakeholders/people.
The study recommended the development of a template of a Safety and Security Policy which the media institutions can use to develop their own. Media institutions should develop and operate with safety and security policies in the interest of the safety of journalists.