4.1 Warm-up (15 mins)

  1. The trainer welcomes participants back to the last day of class. 
  2. The trainer checks in with them to see how they are feeling. The trainer can choose a warm up from the curriculum resources section. 


  • Participants ease back into the training and get their mind ready for work.
  • Lays out the objectives for the day.

Materials & resources

4.2 Understanding and managing stress (60 mins)

  1. The trainer starts the activity by recapping the last activity they did on day three, where they discussed how to increase mental well-being with offline activities. 
  2. The trainer explains the objectives and structure of the lesson. 
  3. The trainer writes up the following questions on the board:
    • What keeps you calm?
    • What gives you hope?
    • What brings you joy?
    • Who do you trust?
  4. The trainer asks participants to draw the answers to the questions. 

Participants really enjoy drawing. It’s important to let them know that it is not important if they are not natural artists. What’s important is that they enjoy the process.

  1. The trainer asks participants to feed back some examples to the class if they feel comfortable doing so. The trainer highlights that the things they have drawn are key when it comes to managing stress and functioning healthier. 
  2. The trainer draws four columns on the whiteboard. The trainer puts the following headings in each column – self esteem, self confidence, courage, strength.
  3. The trainer goes through each heading and checks understanding. Participants are then asked to individually write down several items for each column. The trainer can facilitate feedback to the class if participants feel comfortable sharing.  
  4. The trainer speaks to the class about the different types of stress and how they can be productive and traumatic. There is general stress that helps us prepare for a task. The trainer elicits general types of stress, for example meeting a deadline. Then there is distress which overwhelms our ability to cope with stress. 
  5. The trainer puts the class into small groups with two different coloured blocks of post-it notes and encourages them to write down things that cause stress and things that cause distress. 
  6. The trainer asks participants to come and stick the post-it notes on the corresponding place on the board – under stress and distress. Participants are encouraged to look at what others have written to see if they share the same experiences. 
  7. The trainer tells participants that they will be speaking about the consequences of stress. 
  8. The trainer hands out post-it notes to each participant and asks them to write down two or three symptoms that they feel when they are stressed, for example a headache.
  9. The participants are invited to stick these post-its on the board. They are then encouraged to group the issues in categories, for example physical symptoms, changes in behaviour, feelings.
  10. Participants reflect on what they have learned with facilitation from the trainer. 
  11. The trainer draws an empty glass on the board. The trainer explains that the glass represents a person. The trainer then draws some water in the glass. This could be half full, for example. The water represents the capacity of the person to deal with stress. The trainer explains that the glass is half full because the person has a lot of work and also a personal issue at home. The trainer explains that a person’s ability to deal with stress differs based on the person and the situation they are facing. The trainer explains that the person is now sick and she has received a threat because of an article she has published. The trainer then draws more water and shows water spilling from the glass; this is when the level of stress starts to impact those around the person, for example family and colleagues.
  12. Participants are encouraged to draw their own glasses and share if they are comfortable doing so.


  • Participants explore personal resources for dealing with stress.
  • Participants learn that there are different types of stress.
  • Participants gain an awareness of how stress causes reactions both physically and emotionally.
  • Participants contextualize that their personal stress also has an effect on those around them.

Materials & resources

  • Pens & paper
  • Whiteboard/ flip chart
  • Post-it notes

This section has been created working with materials from the IREX SAFE training curriculum

4.3 On location I (30 mins)

  1. The trainer introduces the topic of working as a woman journalist outside of the office. 
  2. The trainer asks the journalists to think about a time they worked on location and what issues they faced. Participants should take notes. Do they think being a woman journalist creates more or less issues?
  3. The trainer puts participants into pairs to tell their story to their partner. Then feedback to the class. The trainer writes up feedback on the board.
  4. The trainer tells the participants that they are going to watch a video of a woman journalist talking about a situation she faced while reporting in the field.
  5. Participants should watch and take notes. Are there any similarities between the story of the journalist and their own experiences?


  • Participants discuss their experiences of working on location as a woman journalist.
  • Participants see that women journalists experience common risks.

Materials & resources

4.4 Situational awareness (60 mins)

  1. The trainer defines situational awareness and what it involves. The trainer asks whether the journalists have situational awareness while out reporting. The journalists give feedback.
  2. The trainer tells the participants that noticing changes in your environment can mean the difference between safety and harm
  3. The trainer tells the participants that they are going to watch some videos to test their situational awareness. These videos can be found on the internet by searching for ‘selective attention experiments’.
  4. Participants watch the videos and note down the changes they noticed. Feedback to the class.
  5. The trainer concludes the class by stating that attention to detail on location can really help to make someone more secure. 
  6. Participants are introduced to the OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) developed by John Boyd and how it helps improve someones’ situational awareness. 
  7. The trainer explains how following the OODA loop can help a journalist improve their safety


  • Participants gain an understanding of situational awareness.
  • Participants learn about the OODA loop.

Materials & resources

This section has been created working with materials from the IREX SAFE training curriculum

4.5 On location II (60 mins)

Trainers should include context-specific examples in this section

  1. The trainer speaks with participants about whether they ever travel for work. This could include traveling from the office to an event, traveling to other areas of the country or crossing a border to another country.
  2. Participants give feedback. The trainer then asks them whether they have any concerns when they travel? How are they preparing? What differences are there in the different types of trips and how does that affect how they plan for it?
  3. Participants in groups speak about their different types of trips and how they plan. Trainer facilitates feedback to the class.
  4. The trainer asks what threats they face when traveling and how they mitigate those risks. Quick brainstorm as a class and then feedback to the board. 
  5. The trainer mentions some issues
    • Insurance
    • Communications plan
    • Schedules
    • Planning for changes in schedules

Staying in accommodation

  1. The trainer asks journalists how they prepare when they have to stay overnight somewhere. What things do they need to think about to be more secure? What threats do they face? 
  2. Journalists work in small teams to write on post-it notes the threats they face and also the steps they currently take to mitigate them.
  3. The trainer invites class to stick post-it notes in two columns on the board – threats and mitigation.
  4. Class is encouraged to look at what others have shared. Are their similarities in the way they manage their own risk? Are there particular risks that they face as a woman journalist?
  5. The trainer walks through best practices using the examples provided by the participants. This includes:
    • Who owns the accommodation? Does it have links to criminal activity?
    • The neighbourhood it is based in
    • How secure is the building
    • Where is your room located
    • Personal alarms and door stops

Road Safety

  1. The trainer tells the group that often the threats that are most concerning are things we don’t even think about when covering a story, such as road safety. 
  2. The trainer asks participants how they normally travel to places and what precautions they take.
  3. The trainer leads a class brainstorm about types of things they should think about, including
    • Own car or a hire car
      • How old is the vehicle 
      • Does it have seatbelts
      • Insurance
      • Plan for if it breaks down
      • Does driving in a vehicle from one region in another region cause an issue
      • Where are you travelling what are the roads like
      • Weather conditions
      • Roadblocks and checkpoints
    • Public transport
      • Possibility of theft of belongings
      • Arriving late
      • Armed robbery
      • How reliable is the service
      • How safe is it
  4. Feedback to the class and thoughts.


  • Participants share their own experience of travel concerns and what they do to mitigate it.
  • Participants learn best practice for travelling more securely, including selecting secure accommodation and road safety.

Materials & resources

  • Pens
  • Whiteboard/ flip chart
  • Post-it notes

4.6 Covering protests & demonstrations (90 mins)

  1. The trainer begins the class by asking them whether it is common to cover protests and demonstrations in their job. Participants give feedback.
  2. The trainer tells them that they are going to watch a video about a woman journalist’s experience of covering a series of protests. They should watch and write down the advice that she gives. The trainer should then facilitate a discussion around covering protests. Did they agree with her advice? What do they do to protect themselves when covering a protest?
  3. The trainer puts them into small groups and asks them to come up with a list of things they do to protect themselves when at a protest. 
  4. The trainer elicits feedback to the board and provides them with best practices at the same time, including:
    • Planning beforehand
    • Working with a colleague
    • Clothing, footwear, jewelry and hair.
    • Position on the ground
    • Evacuation routes
    • Tear gas
  5. The trainer asks them about their devices. What do they carry with them? Have they ever had devices broken, stolen or confiscated?

Securing your phone

  1. The trainer puts participants into groups and gives them a big white piece of paper and pens.
  2. The trainer asks them to draw a big cell phone in the middle of the paper leaving space around it to write information.
  3. The trainer instructs participants to brainstorm all the information that is stored on a phone.
  4. Participants do so and then give feedback to the class and trainer writes it up on the board.
  5. The trainer asks what are the consequences if someone should gain access to this phone.
  6. Participants write down consequences and feedback to the class.  
  7. The trainer walks through best practice for securing their phone, including:
    • Knowing what information is on the phone
    • Backing up and deleting content
    • Safer communication methods
    • Removing apps and limiting access to others
    • Preparing for signal jamming or internet blocking.
    • Knowing how your phone tracks you
    • Setting up devices to remote wipe
  8. The trainer answers any questions or doubts.


  • Participants share their own best practices for covering protests.
  • Participants learn best practices for covering demonstrations and protests more securely, including situational awareness and mobile phone security.
  • Participants learn best practices for arrest and detention.

Materials & resources

4.7 Complete Risk Assessment (20 mins)

  1. Participants complete the section “location and risk” of the risk assessment document
  2. The full risk assessment has now been completed. Brief feedback


  • Participants are able to apply teachings from this class into practical real-life situations.
  • Participants will leave the course with a completed risk assessment.

Materials & resources

4.8 Wrap up of training (30 mins)

  1. The trainer gathers participants together in a semi circle.
  2. The trainer thanks the class for all the hard work they have done over the past four days.
  3. The trainer asks them to state one thing they have learned and one thing they will change as a result of the workshop. 
  4. The trainer encourages the participants to stay in touch with him/her and reach out if they have any questions.


  • Consolidate learning from the course. 
  • Feedback and time for questions.

Day 4 – Risk and location

Total duration: 6 hours


This final day will look at the different risks women journalists face when out reporting in the field. It will guide them through situational awareness tactics and look at real-life experiences of women journalists reporting .


By the end of this training day, participants should be able to:

  • Understand how stress affects them in their working and personal lives
  • Have an understanding of situational awareness and how it can better protect them
  • Plan for a reporting trip and understand best practices when it comes to road safety and secure accommodation
  • Carry out best practices for attending protests and demonstrations

Curriculum Resources

For this training day, we have developed specific materials and activities to accompany the curriculum. You can find all resources of day 4 here.