United States Agency for Global Media

Miami: Covering news in the digital era

August 2017

Journalists from Venezuela and other parts of Latin America participated in a three-day workshop that focused on security training, including first aid and digital protection. The workshop took place in Miami, Florida, on August 22-26, 2017.

“This was a unique experience — it was memorable for my professional growth,” said Eduardo Ponte of the Venezuelan Newspaper El Nacional.

Many of the journalists who work in dangerous conditions around the world practiced hands-on security skills. They learned how to react to hostile mobs, reduce risk, improve their own situational awareness and handle first aid in case of accidents. Frank Smyth and Shane Bell of the firm Global Journalist Security conducted the training.

Technical Coordinator Borana ‘Bo’ Kostro also worked with the trainees on ways to protect their digital assets.

Participants were all from Latin American countries, including Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.

“Excellent experience! Three days of strengthening of knowledge and new learning, very in line with the needs of journalists in matters of personal security and information; especially for those of us who live in countries in permanent social conflicts, where a thin line between the commitment to inform and the risk of being the next story is being worked out,” said Raquel Herrera from Canal 12 in El Salvador.

Claudia Rodríguez, from CDN in the Dominican Republic, outlined the importance of this type of training, calling it “spectacular” and thanked the BBG for “all it has done during these days.”

  • BBG
  • Frank Smyth
    Founder & Executive Director, Global Journalist Security
  • Shane Bell
    International Trainer & Advisor, Global Journalist Security
  • Borana 'Bo' Kostro
    Technical Coordinator — Office of Internet Freedom, BBG
  • Iscar Blanco
    Director, Office of Business Development – Latin America, BBG
  • Clara Dominguez