Almost 120 of our friends and colleagues have died trying to cover the news since January, making 2011 one of the bloodiest recent years for our industry.

London, 16 December - This has been a remarkable Year of Living Dangerously for the news media around the globe, and INSI has risen to the challenge.

Almost 120 of our friends and colleagues have died trying to cover the news since January, making 2011 one of the bloodiest recent years for our industry.

Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa, natural disasters in Japan and New Zealand, nuclear dangers in Japan - all presented grave risks to reporters, correspondents and new crews and INSI sought to help.

Early in the year we launched our unique News Safety Forum where INSI members could exchange highly sensitive information affecting the safety of their people on the ground in danger zones. Some of the information circulated was confidential to the group, but INSI was able to extract much useful advice and guidance that could be shared with the wider news community.

As a result, we issued 40 news safety advisories in the course of the year to assist journalists covering Libya and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa, Japan, New Zealand, Ivory Coast and the riots in the UK.

The tsunami of news crises overwhelmed much of our regular work, but nevertheless we were able to continue our safety training programmes for colleagues in daily danger in their own countries.

We provided training or guidance during the year to 220 journalists and support staff working in Thailand, Burma, Mexico, Dagestan and the Balkans.

INSI has now provided safety training free of charge to more than 2,000 news media in 23 countries.

There is no doubt that training can save lives. The great majority of those killed were targeted in their own countries by professional gunmen working for crime cartels and corrupt politicians, so we journalists need to be professionally prepared to meet the risks.

Some of the most horrific attacks took place on female journalists. INSI quickly issued a safety advisory specifically for women covering dangerous situations.

Behind the scenes, the international community showed signs of becoming seriously engaged in the issue of journalist safety, and INSI was at the table at two key consultations: a UN inter-agency conference in Paris that is due to produce an action plan by February and a major experts consultation by the Austrian government which aims to pursue the issue at the UN Human Rights Council.

INSI presented the industry's views in Vienna by tabling a resolution passed by 440 delegates from 56 countries at News Xchange 2011 demanding world bodies and governments act to stop the killing.

In the Philippines, the INSI Safety Code was adopted as one of the main recommendations in the Manila Declaration, a document crafted by more than 50 senior journalists, editors and representatives of humanitarian agencies from Southeast and East Asia and the Pacific at the October "Reporting on Violence and Emergencies" conference.

During the year, INSI set up regional operations in Brazil and North America aimed at spreading the safety word. They will be working on regional initiatives in the new year. INSI North America will be launching its own website before the end of the year, accessible directly or via the main INSI website.

We will further broaden and deepen our work for journalists in danger in 2012.

We are currently conducting an in-depth review of safety advice and procedures to build on the strengths of INSI's unique safety training, by working journalists for working journalists.

We are also planning a major project to help women journalists at risk. Watch this space!

And of course our Safety Forum is on constant standby for the next high danger story.

Stay Safe in 2012!



Rodney Pinder