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Risk Analysis


About this course

Working as a journalist entails risks. Do you know what they are? Being able to identify common risks protects you by helping you identify the best ways to plan, manage, mitigate and prevent them. This course is designed to teach you to assess your risk in a comprehensive manner by addressing these key components:
  • Digital risk
  • Psycho-emotional risk
  • Physical risk
  • Legal risk

You will learn practical definitions that will help you understand, for example, the difference between risks and threats. We will also introduce you to the different factors that may impact your safety:
  • Identity/profile
  • Personal and professional environment
  • Assigned story

By the end of the course, you will know how to carry out a step-by-step risk analysis and know what factors you must take into account in order to perform your duties safely. Risk analysis should always be the first, and fundamental, step to creating security plans and protocols to help you safely carry out your journalistic work. It is important to note that your risk analysis is a dynamic process in which variables may change based on various factors. This course will provide you with the tools necessary for adjusting to those changes and updating your security assessment as needed.

About Totem

All journalists can be proactive when it comes to their safety!

Totem is an online platform that offers interactive courses to learn how to increase digital security and privacy. The optimal user experience is currently on your desktop computer. The aim is to support journalists, human rights defenders and activists so that they can more effectively use privacy tools and tactics in their work.

You’re not a journalist? No worries. These courses are designed for everyone.

Join today and learn how to better protect yourself in order to safely work as a journalist.

What will you learn in this course?

By the end of this course, you will know:

  • What different types of risk you may face when working as a journalist
  • How being aware of your identity makes you uniquely positioned to cover a story while mitigating your risk
  • How your surrounding environment can affect your security
  • How to become aware of the risks associated with the story you are about to tell
  • How to take ownership of your own risk analysis



Last Update

This course was last updated in: January 2024


This course was originally designed for journalists in Latin America by IWPR as part of the CAPIR Consortium. Its content was co-created during a workshop for the Totem platform with the collaboration of the Fundación Karisma, Vinland Solutions and the Irena Group.
The contextualization for the English language of this course has been done by the ACOS Alliance and freelance photojournalists and ACOS Board Member, Vanessa Charlot.