INTERVIEW COLOR CODE: BURNT ORANGE

Journalists’ personal safety is contingent on factors such as location, identity and terrorist organization. Some of the journalists expressed concerns about their personal safety whereas others did not describe feeling unsafe.

Some of the journalists interviewed discussed going out in areas of combat. Tom Coghlan said that there is a severe threat to personal safety when covering stories about bombs because there is often a second bomb, or round of bombs, that will go off to kill the people trying to help the wounded. Terrorist organizations use this tactic in order to obtain maximum bloodshed, he said. On the other hand, Juan Forero mentioned that when in a combat zone, his adrenaline is high and therefore he does not focus on his personal safety.

Ahmad Salkida said that he fears retaliation from the Nigerian government. He said he had been arrested or detained 59 times but never charged with anything because he maintains integrity and said he does not do anything illegal or unethical in his reporting. He said that this is what has kept him alive.

Other journalists, including Coghlan, said their personal safety is compromised when they interview members of the terrorist organizations. In some areas, the threat to personal safety is severe. Omar Nor said that he receives death threats from members of the organizations. On the other hand, Sulome Anderson said that she does not feel unsafe around the members of the organization at all.

Overall, local journalists expressed more personal safety concerns than foreign correspondents. For example, Salkida and Coghlan are both local to the areas they cover. Salkida and Drew Hinshaw, a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, both report on Nigeria but only Salkida said he was very concerned about his safety.