Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues, Inc. (RISC)

RISC is dedicated to promoting the safety of freelance journalists in combat zones. We provide first aid training to freelance journalists working in all media - photography, print and broadcast - to mitigate the many threats they face to their physical security while on the job. Our name reflects our hope that freelance reporters trained in first aid will be able to treat not only their own wounds in the field, but also those of their colleagues, until they are able to reach professional medical care. It is our goal to make first aid training and preparedness an industry norm, like having a flak jacket and helmet, for freelance journalists working in combat zones.
Nov 6, 2014

With heavy hearts this year, we remain committed to keeping journalists safe in the field

Sophia Jones at a Kurdish Peshmerga base in Iraq
Sophia Jones at a Kurdish Peshmerga base in Iraq

Dear RISC supporters,

2014 has been a difficult year for the RISC community. We lost two of our alumni, both of whom participated in our first RISC course in April 2012. In March, Matthew Power passed away suddenly from heat stroke while on assignment for Men's Journal in Uganda. On August 19, James Foley was murdered by Islamic State extremists in Syria after nearly two years in captivity. With heavy hearts, we remain inspired by the founding motive of RISC. Sebastian Junger started this organization to prevent more needless deaths after his close friend and colleague Tim Hetherington died of mortar wounds in Libya. The losses of James and Matt have motivated us to work harder to keep the rest of the community safe.

Last month, we held the first RISC course in Africa, in Kenya's capital city of Nairobi. Twenty-four freelance journalists joined us for the training: they were writers, photographers and videographers, half were women, and about 1/3 were locally based while others traveled from Egypt, Somalia, Yemen, Ethiopia, Spain, Israel, Italy, Uganda, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Many had covered conflicts in the region, in South Sudan, Somalia and Democratic Republic of Congo. Others had covered the Ebola crisis in West Africa. And the large contingent of Cairo-based journalists had been covering the conflicts throughout the Middle East. In July, we trained another 24 journalists at a course in Gjakova, Kosovo.

The Kosovo and Nairobi courses bring the total number of RISC alumni now to 192. We continue to receive dozens of applications every month, and we have a long waiting list for future courses. Your donations help us plow through that list, training and equipping journalists covering dangerous and remote areas throughout the world to keep themselves, their colleagues and civilians around them safe. Next year, we will begin offering one-day refresher courses to our alumni.

If you are in the New York area, we would love to have you join us on December 3 for a photo auction and benefit to help raise more funds for RISC. The benefit will be hosted by RISC founder Sebastian Junger and Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas. We have 45 beautiful photographs available for bidding starting on November 19, by RISC alumni as well as acclaimed photographers including Tim Hetherington, Susan Meiselas, Richard Mosse, Roger Ballen, Moises Saman and Andrew McConnell. You can see a preview of the photographs up for auction here, and purchase tickets to the event here.

Thanks again for your support. Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season this year.

Trainees Tony Karumba & Kimberly Adams in Nairobi
Trainees Tony Karumba & Kimberly Adams in Nairobi
RISC VIII - Nairobi - Group Shot
RISC VIII - Nairobi - Group Shot
RISC VII - Kosovo - Group Shot
RISC VII - Kosovo - Group Shot
Trainee Narciso Contreras & others in Kosovo
Trainee Narciso Contreras & others in Kosovo
RISC alum Mauricio Morales covering Gaza
RISC alum Mauricio Morales covering Gaza

Links:

Jul 16, 2014

Thank you from RISC founder Sebastian Junger

RISC trainee Pete Muller photographing in Congo
RISC trainee Pete Muller photographing in Congo

Dear RISC supporters and friends,

Thanks to your generous donations to our campaign on GlobalGiving over the past two years, we were able to fund one entire RISC course in battlefield first aid. That means 24 freelance journalists working in conflict zones are safer today because of your support. They have the knowledge and equipment to save themselves, their colleagues, and civilians around them from succumbing to the four most common preventable deaths on the battlefield: hemorrhage, blocked airway, tension pneumothorax, and hypothermia.

We just opened a new campaign on GlobalGiving to help us train another 24 freelancers. If you're considering renewing your support for RISC, today is a good day to do it: GlobalGiving is matching gifts at 40% up to $1000 starting at 9am. Your $30 becomes $42 and $100 becomes $140, while the funds last. Make your donation here: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/train-24-freelance-war-reporters-in-first-aid.

I founded RISC so that other journalists' families and friends wouldn't have to go through the pain that we did when my good friend Tim Hetherington died while covering the conflict in Libya in 2011. We have now trained 144 photographers, writers, and documentary filmmakers. I am confident that the trainings and equipment we provide are making a difference by making the journalism community more responsible for each other's safety. Thank you for making it possible for us to do this important work.

With gratitude,

Sebastian Junger

RISC alum Monique Jaques covers Istanbul protests
RISC alum Monique Jaques covers Istanbul protests
RISC alum Benjamin Hall in Iraq
RISC alum Benjamin Hall in Iraq
Jun 6, 2014

RISC heads to Eastern Europe amid chaos in Ukraine

Alum Daniel Tepper in the West Bank
Alum Daniel Tepper in the West Bank

As journalists covering Ukraine continue to face attacks, detention, and abduction, RISC is heading to the region to offer a battlefield medical response course in Kosovo on July 28-31. Kosovo's centrality makes it a convenient location not just for the many photographers, print reporters and broadcast journalists covering the big story in Ukraine, but for freelance journalists based throughout Europe and the Middle East. Many of these journalists have been unable to cover the costs of traveling to New York City for our courses. The four-day course in Gjakova, Kosovo, will be led by the original RISC training team from Wilderness Medical Associates: U.S. combat medic Sawyer Alberi, WMA Executive Director and emergency physician Dr. David Johnson, and travel medicine and risk specialist Bill Frederick. As always, each of our graduates will receive a RISC medical kit to take with them back into the field.

We kicked off the second season of our benefit speaker series, War Correspondents at the Brooklyn Brewery, on May 22 with NPR's Middle East correspondent Deborah Amos. Scott Anderson takes the stage next on June 17. For a full list of the speakers and dates, click here.

RISC is proud to announce that National Geographic Television, one of our original corporate donors, became a continuing sponsor this spring with a pledge of $25,000 to be donated over the next five years. Our other sustaining corporate donors are ABC News and NBC News. We are grateful to all of our corporate sponsors, as well as individual donors, for your support as we enter our third year of operations. For more information about where our money comes from, and where it goes, please check out our 2013 annual report.

Our next course is scheduled for October 4-7 in Nairobi, Kenya. Please consider making a donation to help us make that RISC training available to journalists covering conflicts in Central African Republic, Congo, Nigeria, and other parts of Africa. Thank you and have a wonderful summer!

NPR
NPR's Deborah Amos speaks at RISC benefit series
Kits for Kosovo provided by Combat Medical Systems
Kits for Kosovo provided by Combat Medical Systems
Alums Rick Findler & Benjamin Hall in Somalia
Alums Rick Findler & Benjamin Hall in Somalia

Links:

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