International News Safety Institute Comes to U.S.
as Program of the AFTRA Foundation
NEW YORK (December 3, 2007)—The International News Safety Institute—the only global organization solely dedicated to the safety of journalists and other news professionals—has formally established a presence in the United States as a program of the AFTRA Foundation, a nonprofit organization created by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to support broadcasters, performers, and recording artists.
“As AFTRA members bring news and information from throughout the world to the American public, the AFTRA Foundation is a perfect home for the International News Safety Institute here in the U.S.,” said Shelby Scott, AFTRA Foundation Chair and former broadcast journalist.
"We are thrilled to have a formal charitable status in the USA through our collaboration with the AFTRA Foundation and look forward to strengthening our membership and our service to news professionals," said Chris Cramer, INSI Honorary President and former head of CNN International.
Under the aegis of the AFTRA Foundation, the institute now has charitable status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which enables INSI to raise funds through tax-deductible voluntary contributions, grants, and bequests.
"Having a proper presence in the United States is vital to our work," said INSI Director Rodney Pinder. "The demand for our help constantly exceeds our financial and human resources. The news industry in the United States is powerful and rich in resources and friends of journalists there can now rally behind the safety cause in the most efficient and effective way."
INSI was created in 2003 by a unique coalition of news organizations, journalist support groups, and concerned individuals alarmed by the ever-rising numbers of colleagues dying while trying to tell the story.
INSI believes there can be no press freedom or sustainable development where journalists are killed because of their work. Reporting conflicts and other hazardous stories can never be completely safe, but professional training and education make it safer and improve the quantity and quality of free flow of information around the world.
INSI is a dedicated source of safety information and advice for journalists in or planning to visit danger areas. It also raises money to provide safety training free of charge for news media staff in the developing world who have no resources to pay for their own. It has so far provided training for 730 journalists and support staff in 16 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.
Although INSI is based in Brussels, it is international in scope and enjoys the support of AFTRA and almost 100 other organizations around the world, including most of the global broadcasting networks and agencies, journalist unions, and journalist support groups as well as individuals. Major support organizations—such as the International Press Institute, International Federation of Journalists, Committee to Protect Journalists, World Association of Newspapers, and others—come together under INSI's safety umbrella.
Find out more information about the work of INSI at www.newssafety.com.
Founded in 1997, the AFTRA Foundation has funded programs that are typically outside the scope of normal activities of AFTRA, such as support for the AFTRA American Scene Awards® program to encourage diversity in the media; funding for education and training programs for AFTRA members, including leadership and mentoring skills; assistance in creating member resource centers in cities across the country; and funds for charitable endeavors, including grants to service organizations such as the Actors Fund and Career Transition for Dancers. More information about the AFTRA Foundation is at www.aftra.com/foundation.
NSI welcomes contributions to its work on behalf of endangered journalists and support staff. Contributions can be sent now, to benefit from the US tax deadline for 2007, to:
INSI North America Fund (Attn Tom Carpenter)
260 Madison Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Checks should be made out to “The INSI Fund of the AFTRA Foundation.”
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. More than 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists are moving forward together through AFTRA to protect and improve our jobs, lives, and communities. AFTRA members embrace change in society--from new culture to new technology--and incorporate change in our work and craft. AFTRA celebrates and thrives on the diversity of our members and the work we do. AFTRA opens a whole new world of opportunities for success for professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet, and other digital media. Visit AFTRA at www.aftra.com.