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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

LAU launched new course on “Journalism Safety” in collaboration with SKF

Monday , 09 October 2023

Starting this Fall semester, the Lebanese American University (LAU) introduced a new course on "Journalism Safety" as part of its multimedia journalism curriculum. This initiative received strong support from the Samir Kassir Foundation (SKF), which, earlier in 2023, launched a program to introduce Lebanese universities to a vital resource: the journalists’ safety curriculum developed by the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation and Marquette University in the United States, with support from the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF).

In 2018, SKF translated into Arabic and adapted the journalists’ safety curriculum to the MENA region’s context. Building on this work, LAU’s launching of the "Journalism Safety" course to promote professionalism and safety within the field of journalism aims to support future journalists to carry out their crucial work without fear, while equipping them with the necessary skills to navigate challenging situations effectively.

In the LAU course, adapted and taught by Ms. Rana Aladdine an experienced journalist and Multimedia Journalism instructor at LAU, students will learn how to prepare for potential risks when working in the newsroom and beyond and how to effectively mitigate them. Students will be given skills and knowledge on different aspects of journalism safety including newsroom safety, physical safety, digital safety, and emotional safety. Students will discuss how to work in different conditions such as during conflicts, violent situations, natural disasters, and epidemics. The course will also address the ethical and trauma-sensitive considerations journalists must have when approaching sources. LAU students will also gain knowledge on journalism rights and the resources that exist that help them stay safe.

Quick Facts

  • Ten students are enrolled in the course on Journalism Safety at LAU, which offers a BA in Multimedia Journalism and aspires to offer a MA in the field starting in Fall 2024.
  • In March 2023, SKF held a series of Zoom meetings involving representatives from the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation and media professors from various Lebanese universities, including LAU, to implement journalism safety into the Lebanese cirriculum.


Dr. Gretchen King, LAU Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism and Program Coordinator for BA in Multimedia Journalism: “Journalism is one of the most dangerous professions in the world and, with the support of the Samir Kassir Foundation, LAU will be the first university in Lebanon to offer a course on ‘Journalism Safety’.”

Ayman Mhanna, Executive Director, the Samir Kassir Foundation: “The collaboration between the Lebanese American University and the Samir Kassir Foundation, leading to the introduction of the ‘Journalism Safety’ course, seeks to familiarize multimedia journalism students with a key professional standard in media work: the safety and security of journalists. This preparation will serve them well in their future careers. We hope that other universities will follow LAU’s steps.”

This project has been made possible with support from the United Nations Democracy Fund.

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