CNN sports reporters take hostile environment training

August 16, 2004

CNN’s sports reporters and crews covering the Olympic Games in Athens had to undergo extensive courses in hostile-environment training before leaving the news organization’s headquarters in Atlanta, reports the Independent Digital in the UK.

Chris Cramer, CNN International’s managing director, said such precautions are necessary and that it will become increasingly common as journalism of all disciplines becomes more dangerous.

In class, the journalists and camera operators learned about the typical components of a terrorist bomb, as well as details of exactly what happens when such a device explodes, and how they should react. They are taught how to make their work environment as secure as possible, and how to resist being taken hostage. They are also instructed on how to keep low profiles and how to diffuse anger and confrontation situations.

One result is a trend toward smaller newsgathering equipment so that journalists are less noticeable. They now use mini-cameras, edit on laptops and transmit video via the Internet.

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