First-ever Guidance for Security and Media Engagement

First-ever Guidance for Security and Media Engagement

The International Security Professional Association (IPSA) launches the first ever guidelines for engagement between private security officers and journalists, developed in collaboration with the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

The IPSA-NUJ Guidance was launched on the 17th March 2022 at the Patrons Event held by IPSA to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions made by its Founders and Company Members towards the Association and the front-line.

It is the first time ever that the security industry has collaborated with the media industry to develop a guideline for behaviour and development of professionals from both the sectors.

Security and Journalism, being two key pillars of the modern society, are often required to interact and engage with one another when serving the people. However, there has been a gap in resources and education on how the engagement could be professionalised and handled with mutual respect, especially when working under pressure.

During the pandemic, a revered publication issued a news piece discussing the expected shortage of ‘bouncers’ after COVID. “That headline instigated us to do something about the media language. We contacted the publication and highlighted the negative connotations attached to the word ‘bouncers’ but were not met with any favourable response. Being an NUJ card holder myself, we reached out to the organisation and started a dialogue with the aim of bringing out this guideline,” says Una Riley, Chief Executive Officer IPSA.

On the other side, an article in a trade press underlined the need for security officers to polish their ways of interacting with the media industry. It was agreed between IPSA and NUJ that there was a requirement for the professionals from the both the sectors to be educated in correct terminologies and engagement of best practices.

Natasha Hirst, NUJ vice president, said, “There is no legal requirement for PSOs to receive training on engaging with journalists. We are pleased to be working with IPSA to fill this knowledge gap.

“We have started an essential conversation about the important role of journalists and how best private security officers can respond when journalists seek to document or report on incidents. Equally, our members will gain a better insight into the role of PSOs. 

“The guidance provides key tips for verifying each other’s accreditation and resolving disputes. We will continue to work with IPSA to develop further training for PSOs and encourage constructive conversations with employers and contractors responsible for instructing PSOs at work.”

Both the Associations worked together for over 12 months to develop this pioneering guide to encourage professional working relationships between private security officers and journalists. The guidance is now available online for free of charge to both sectors.

Una says, “This has been a ground-breaking collaboration between NUJ and IPSA. We hope this is just a start and that there are more things to come. We are looking forward to further collaboration with the media.”