Advice for NUJ members reporting on protests

06/06/2020 0 By Admin

NUJ members working this weekend covering the George Floyd solidarity protests need to plan accordingly and take appropriate health and safety precautions – there may be a range of people hostile to journalists. There have already been instances of journalists attacked.

Carry a copy of the NUJ’s and Thompson solicitors emergency phone number in case you need help. Thompsons operate a 24-hour EMERGENCY number for work-related criminal matters.

Thompsons legal helpline: 08005877530

Here are some tips and advice –

  • Always carry your press card in an accessible place and use it to identify yourself       
  • Ensure you are protected by adequate insurance and conduct your own risk assessment before working
  • Always carry a map so you can check alternative routes and exit points
  • Leave yourself time to drive the route to check for places for good pictures, trouble spots, level of policing, exit routes
  • If you are parking a car, think carefully where you leave it, as you might need to get out in a hurry
  • If you park too close to the protest your car could get damaged or blocked if there is trouble
  • Wear strong boots or shoes and strong, tight-fitting clothing which allows you to move about freely
  • Face mask, shin-guards, kneepads, body armour, helmet – all or some may be worth thinking about
  • Always remember the weather and dress accordingly
  • Carry the minimum amount of equipment so you can move quickly if needs be
  • Ensure you have enough electronic memory, batteries and powerpacks to power equipment and phones
  • Remember you do not have to hand over equipment or delete any footage or images
  • Let someone know that you are covering the protest and tell them what time you are leaving and at what time to expect you back
  • At all times you should be distinct from the protesters and the police
  • Always work in such a way that if something happens you can extract yourself
  • Try and keep police units in sight and avoid putting yourself in a position where you can easily be surrounded
  • Observe government health and safety guidance relating to the coronavirus
  • Keep an eye on fellow journalists in case they need help

After the event, please inform the NUJ of any incidents that happen on the day (even if you do not wish to make a formal complaint), please email the information to