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Toolkit for Security Sector Reporting - Media, Journalism and Security Sector Reform

22 July, 2021



This toolkit was created to address the needs of media professionals reporting on the security sector, especially in conflict-affected and transitional contexts.

Revealing and documenting abuse and corruption by security sector officials, often with the intent to create conditions for political change, is among the most useful and dangerous work a journalist can choose.

It is the product of a process of background research, expert consultations, and external review. A wide range of media professionals, journalists and media development specialists were approached for consultation resulting in twenty-three expert interviews about the challenges of reporting on the security sector.

Security sector reform stakeholders, experts and international donors were also consulted to understand how security sector cooperation with media professionals can be encouraged. A panel of external media professionals provided extensive input to the final draft, and vetted the publication to ensure its relevance for media professionals.  

This publication addresses the need of quality reporting on the security and justice sectors by providing a resource for journalists reporting on the security sector. It fills a gap among existing resources for media professionals, which have focused more on the security of journalists than the specific challenges of reporting accurately on the security sector. 

It also provides a sound introduction to the work of journalists for security sector actors. Gaining an understanding of the unique institutional culture that guides journalism can help the security sector to meet its own responsibility to work constructively with the media.


Tip Sheets for Reporting on Security Issues

Violent Extremism READ - DOWNLOAD
Organized Crimes and the Drug Trade READ - DOWNLOAD
Corruption and Financial Mismanagement READ - DOWNLOAD
Gender and Diversity READ - DOWNLOAD
Stabilization and Security Sector Reform READ - DOWNLOAD
Business, Security and Human Rights READ - DOWNLOAD


Tip Sheets for Reporting on Security Providers

Armed Forces READ - DOWNLOAD
Border Guards READ - DOWNLOAD
Intelligence Agencies READ - DOWNLOAD
Prison Services READ - DOWNLOAD
Private Security Companies READ - DOWNLOAD


Tip Sheets for Reporting on Security Management and Oversight

Executive Authorities READ - DOWNLOAD
Parliament READ - DOWNLOAD
Judicial Systems READ - DOWNLOAD
Independent Oversight Authorities READ - DOWNLOAD
Civil Society READ - DOWNLOAD
Non-State Security and Justice Actors READ - DOWNLOAD



Fiona Schnell, Anne Bennett, Abigail Robinson and Line Barabant