Seven ways to protect your sources
When French officer Romuald Lethondot harassed Togolese journalist Didier Ledoux in the streets of Lomé in August, 2010, many journalists wondered if that officer would have behaved so badly if he were in France.
It seems that we now have a troubling answer to that question.
According to the 2010 World Press Freedom Index from Reporters without Borders (RSF), which ranked 178 nations worldwide, the European Union is no longer a world leader in press freedom.
France and Italy have fallen back, and now trail almost all of Western Europe, ranking 44th and 49th respectively. Greece and Romania are the EU's worst performers, tying at 70th, while the northern EU countries such as Finland, Norway and Switzerland lead all other nations.
France has fallen from as high as 33rd place back in 2002 and symbolizes the EU's growing "freedom gap".
"It is disturbing to see several European Union member countries continuing to fall in the index," said RSF secretary-general Jean-François Julliard. "There is an urgent need for the European countries to recover their exemplary status."
Togo’s journalists, who have been battling for our own freedoms for years, came together in September to form SOS Journalists in Danger. The goal of the group is to defend ourselves and to find ways to protect each other against the violations we’ve endured since the presidential election of 2010.
It seems we have more in common with our European counterparts than we imagined.
That was my thought as I read an article by French writer David Perrotin posted on Rue89.com, detailing ways journalists all around the world can protect themselves and their sources.
Recent targeted burglaries and phone surveillance on journalists “prompts us to turn to the techniques of our colleagues working under clearly authoritarian regimes” said Perrotin.
He suggests seven ways journalists can start protecting their work and their sources.
1. Back to the carrier pigeon.
If you want to send a confidential mail to someone, the best thing to do is not to send it at all. Nothing could be easier.