Jun 62024

Safety Starts with a Contract

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This interactive workshop enables visual journalists to confidently negotiate contractual terms to ensure fair treatment and safe working conditions.

Presenters: Yemile Bucay Alexander Papachristou Andréa Schmidt

Location: Online

Presented by:

  • The ACOS Alliance
  • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

Supported by:

  • Leica Camera
Contracts have a direct impact on the safety of visual journalists, particularly in relation to payment, expenses and insurance. Using the ACOS Alliance model publishing agreement as a reference, this workshop will guide visual journalists through the rights and obligations that contracts can articulate, helping them to understand the legal concepts at play, negotiate terms, and apply contractual language to various professional scenarios to ensure fair treatment and safe working conditions.
By the end, visual journalists will be able to confidently engage with editors and publishers to safeguard their interests in a challenging and often unpredictable field. Participants will be invited to share their own experiences of contract negotiation, ask questions, and offer feedback about the real world applicability of the model publishing agreement.

Presenter Bios

  • Yemile Bucay

    Yemile Bucay

    Yemile Bucay is a journalism risk advisor and safety trainer working to promote a culture of safety in the profession in order to have a sustainable, resilient and free press. She advises PEN America’s Free Expression Programs on safety and security matters and is a resident security advisor to the students and faculty of the Craig Newmark Graduate School for Journalism at CUNY. She was BuzzFeed’s Risk & Security Manager, where she worked with staff and freelance journalists of BuzzFeed News and HuffPost. She was also a Fellow in the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Next Gen Safety Trainers program, a cohort of media security professionals trained for the newly emergent risks faced in media today. Before working in news safety, Yemile was a journalist who reported on immigration, produced a documentary on violence in her native Mexico, led research on online information ecosystems, and taught the business of journalism at Columbia’s Journalism School. Yemile received a B.A. in Humanities from Yale University, and a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

  • Alexander Papachristou

    Alexander Papachristou

    Alexander Papachristou is Executive Director of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, an international public interest law program of the New York City Bar Association, providing pro bono legal support to civil society organizations worldwide. He serves as the board secretary of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, board member of Bard College Berlin, and member of the advisory boards of the Prison Journalism Project and the Environmental Reporting Collective. He is the former president of the Near East Foundation, which empowers vulnerable communities in the Middle East and Africa to address conflict, migration, and climate change. Alexander lived in Russia from 1989 to 1993, where he opened and ran the Moscow office of law firm White & Case and wrote a column for the Moscow Times. From 1994 to 2007, he served as managing director and general counsel at NCH Capital, Inc. He also worked in the law firm of Clifford & Warnke in Washington, DC and was policy assistant to New York Governor Mario C. Cuomo. He served as law clerk to US District Judge Myron H. Thompson in the Middle District of Alabama.

  • Andréa Schmidt

    Andréa Schmidt

    Andréa Schmidt is an independent journalist and filmmaker. She has made current affairs films in more than a dozen countries, many in complex or high-risk environments, including “El Chapo’s Son: The Siege of Culiacán” for The Weekly (New York Times/FX/Hulu) which was awarded a News and Documentary Emmy. For Al Jazeera English’s documentary program Fault Lines, she produced and directed more than twenty films, including “Haiti: Six Months On,” which garnered Al Jazeera its first duPont-Columbia Award. Andréa helped launch AJ+, Al Jazeera’s digital channel, as the executive producer of short documentaries. She has also worked as a showrunner of documentary series and a managing editor of podcasts. Andréa serves as the secretary of the board of the ACOS (A Culture Of Safety) Alliance. Her production company, What Escapes Production, is based in Toronto.


  • The ACOS Alliance

    The ACOS Alliance

    The ACOS (A Culture of Safety) Alliance is a unique global coalition of 150+ news organizations, journalist associations and press freedom NGOs working together to champion safe and responsible journalism practices, with a focus on freelance and local journalists. ACOS leverages the expertise and resources of its stakeholders to democratize access to safety expertise and training for under-resourced journalists and newsrooms; raises safety standards through the Freelance Journalist Safety Principles; and advances safety best practice, innovation and collaboration among news organizations, NGOs and journalists.

  • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

    The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

    The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide. CPJ provides comprehensive support to journalists and media support staff working around the world through up-to-date safety and security information and rapid response assistance.

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