Posted in Announcements

Doubling down on journalist safety

, by Patrick Maks

Executive Editor Julie Pace today announced that Ian Phillips, vice president for international news, will take on a new assignment focused on journalist safety.

Here is her memo to staff:

One of our most important missions at AP is ensuring the safety and security of our staff and freelance journalists around the world. Our teams face both threats to their physical safety and increasing levels of online attacks and harassment. It’s a moment that requires us to take a more aggressive and comprehensive approach to safety. That’s why I’ve asked Ian Phillips vice president for international news, to take on a one-year assignment focused on global security and crisis management. Ian’s mission is to help us bolster the AP’s preparedness and rapid response to physical and online threats, as well as other crisis situations. He’ll also work to develop stronger relationships with other media outlets and crisis management organizations. He’ll work closely with our colleagues in other departments to align AP’s security and crisis management efforts across the enterprise. This includes collaborating with the team that has spent the past few months focused on elevating AP’s response to online harassment, which is growing as a clear and present danger to our journalists.
Vice President for International News Ian Phillips. (AP Photo)
There is no one as well-suited as Ian to tackle this mission. Ian was deeply involved in some of the most sensitive security situations AP has faced in recent years, including the destruction of our bureau in Gaza and the detention of one of our colleagues in Myanmar. He has an important understanding of the risks AP staff and freelancers face when working in combat zones or under authoritarian regimes. He also has a strong, personal connection with so many AP journalists around the world, which will allow him to draw on your experiences to make sure we get this right. I’m looking forward to the opportunity for more AP staffers to have the chance to work closely with him. During Ian’s assignment, our international news report will continue to be guided by our talented regional news directors in Asia, the Middle East, Europe/Africa and Latin America. Ian will regularly update you on his work and seek your feedback. This is not an effort we want to happen behind closed doors — keeping you safe is the vital first step to ensuring AP can successfully tell the world’s most impactful stories. Please join me in thanking Ian for taking on this important assignment. Julie