Amidst Increasing Threats and Violence Against Journalists, Preventive Safety Education Is More Important Than Ever

WASHINGTON, DC — To assist journalists facing growing safety challenges while covering election related events and protests against racial inequality, the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation offers its safety curricula with resources to protect journalists in the field.

The recent violence in Washington, D.C  on Wednesday, January 6 demonstrates the on-going and serious risks journalists face in the field. In and around the U.S. Capitol, there were at least five arrests, 14 assaults, and multiple reports of equipment damage, threats, and harassment of members of the media according to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

In light of the insurrection on Capitol Hill and attacks against journalists covering it, the Foley Foundation reminds aspiring and freelance journalists, as well as all institutions teaching journalism, of the James W. Foley Journalism Safety Modules. The modules include the latest information on journalists’ rights, how to safely cover protests and civil unrest, safety risks facing female journalists and journalists of color, and resources addressing online harassment of journalists.

The safety modules were developed in collaboration with Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication, the alma mater of freelance journalist James Foley, who was killed by ISIS while covering the Syrian conflict in 2014. The Foley Foundation received generous support from the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation to launch the modules, which serve as the undergraduate companion to the James W. Foley Journalist Safety Guide, a graduate-level curriculum created by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism Washington Bureau Chief and Foley Foundation board member, Ellen Shearer, in collaboration with Reporters Without Borders. 

In addition to Marquette and Northwestern, other universities already implementing or expressing interest in the modules include New York University, University of Missouri, University of Oklahoma, University of Florida, University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, American University, Arizona State University, West Virginia University, University of New Hampshire, Weber State University, Quinnipiac University, the University of Central Missouri, and the University of Southern California.

Both the James W. Foley Journalism Safety Modules and the James W. Foley Journalist Safety Guide can be found, free of charge, at

To access the full PDF of the James W. Foley Journalism Safety Modules, click here.