Media Safety Advisor – Career Benefits

Working within the media sphere offers the operative an unrivalled opportunity to travel the world and experience different environments and cultures, often witnessing first-hand moments in history by covering major events in world affairs such as the removal of dictators, changing of regimes, natural disasters as well as ongoing wars like Ukraine etc. It’s fast-paced and one part of the industry where the pay standards remain high.

Being deployed with a news team can be challenging; expect to be the primary medic, the military expert (know your weapon systems!), to be the logistics coordinator, in addition to being responsible for writing daily risk assessments that go to the very top of the news network for approval. You may even find yourself being the team chef! Often media teams work with very few resources.

Media Safety Advisor Training – Building on Experience

In 2021 during the pandemic, I designed and wrote a Media Safety Advisors Course. Once the Russian invasion started, the need for security with media increased overnight like nothing seen since the Arab Spring. Those with experience were booked up straight away by the networks. The shortage was evident. I rewrote the Advisors course based on the current situation and SOPs being developed in tune with the threat in Ukraine. Having just returned from a 6-week assignment with a leading International News Network and being one of the last teams to leave Mariupol, completing a deployment that saw several major incidents, I had gained invaluable insight into what was required of Media Safety Advisors in such chaotic, unpredictable and dangerous situations. I have incorporated the lessons I learned into the revised Media Safety Advisor Training course, which has now been delivered to over 150 operatives worldwide. Cosain is the only company within the industry to offer this unique niche training.

Setting Your Expectations

Media Safety Advisor assignments can vary in duration, some only a few days, such as the recent Champions League Final in Paris, during which we had a safety advisor on the ground with another major news and sports network, ensuring the safety of the news team in some difficult circumstances. Others, like the coverage in Ukraine, are longer and come with their own distinct challenges. The one constant is that news is a 24-hour, seven days a-week, 365 days-a-year industry, and, as such, the requirement for well-trained, competent and professional Media Safety Advisors is always there.


So, You Want to be a Media Safety Advisor?

From my experiences around the world with a wide variety of news teams over the last 12 years, the one piece of advice I would offer to anyone who wants to be a Media Safety Advisor is to keep a bag packed by the door at all times and be ready to move at a moments notice, breaking news waits for no one!!

Here are my top tips for anyone wanting to break into the diverse, complex and hugely rewarding world of the Media Safety Advisor:

1. Undertake a Media Safety Advisors Training course.
2. Ensure you have an in-date medical qualification (FREC3 is the standard, and FREC4 is particularly advantageous).
3. Keep your knowledge of weapon systems and military hardware up to date in, especially in any theatre of operations to which you may be deployed.
4. Be prepared to move at very short notice (breaking news waits for no one!!).
5. Maintain a calm character with a ‘can do’ attitude.
6. Stay proactive.
7. Keep up to date with current world affairs.
8. Stay fit; you will often carry spare camera equipment, body armour, and potentially a fully stocked trauma kit.
9. Have serviceable PPE (body armour, helmet, respirator as a minimum)
10. Have an IFAK & Trauma Kit
11. Carry two Passports
12. Have a sense of humour!

Media Safety Advisor Training

By Ken Perry, Cosain Consultancy 

Cosain has over 25 years of experience within the media safety and executive protection industry and has a network of trusted relationships with global media companies across the globe. Services include crisis management, risk assessment, ground truth, rapid deployment and bespoke training for clients.

Cosain deliver the only Media Safety Advisor Training course available today that is based on extensive, operational experience, preparing the attendees for the varied and challenging demands of media safety.

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