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Top Gear crash is reminder of dangers for journalists

The serious injuries to BBC’s Top Gear co-presenter Richard Hammond in a 300mph jet-powered car crash show how things can go wrong even in an organisation that gives safety high priority.

Under BBC rules there are risk assessments for everything and and extremely extensive range of safety courses. Concern about the safety of journalists in conflict zones has led in recent years to much improved training and the setting up of the International News Safety Institute in 2003.

My former colleague Colin Bickler (a Reuters’ correspondent for many years and campaigner for INSI) who has worked tirelessly for improved safety awareness and training for journalists always stresses the dangers that lurk for every journalists, not only those going into obviously dangerous places.

It is an issue that media groups have only recently started to take as seriously as it should be. There is a clear need need for improved risk awareness and safety training for journalists and those who work with them.

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