Amid increasing attacks on journalists around the globe, the Executive Board of the International Press Institute (IPI) has appointed John Daniszewski, Associated Press (AP) vice president for standards and editor at large, as IPI’s special representative for journalist safety.

The Executive Board made the appointment during its semi-annual Board meeting held this year on June 21, 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria, alongside IPI’s 2018 World Congress.

With the appointment, the Executive Board expressed a desire to generate greater attention on the issue of journalist safety and thereby encourage both representatives of the news industry and relevant state institutions to ensure that journalists can work freely and without fear of retaliation, and that the risks inherent to the profession are minimized as much as possible.

“The public’s right to know is under attack around the world from those who would silence a free press through acts of violence and intimidation”, Daniszewski said in accepting the Executive Board’s appointment. “I am honored to serve as the special representative for journalist safety to the IPI Board to advance the fight for security of journalists and to support and defend those who struggle in defense of truth. I look forward to collaborating with other safety initiatives to uphold the principle that an unfettered press is the best defense against tyrannies of all kinds.”

Daniszewski, who became AP’s vice president for standards and editor at large in July 2016 after more than 10 years as AP’s international editor, brings to IPI decades of experience in the promotion of high safety standards for journalists. In his current post, Daniszewski is involved on a daily basis with issues of standards and ethics for AP, including questions of safety for news gatherers.

Through his previous work as foreign correspondent for AP and The Los Angeles Times, Daniszewski covered many of the major international news stories of the time, including the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the end of apartheid in South Africa, the upheavals in the Middle East and wars in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq and Afghanistan. Those experiences left him with a thorough understanding of the challenges journalists face when covering dangerous assignments.

Since 2012, Daniszewski has played a leading role in organizing the IPI North American Committee’s Foreign Editors Circle meetings, which have frequently focused on how to address safety concerns for correspondents and stringers in risky environments.

Daniszewski is also member of the board of the ACOS Alliance, a coalition of news organizations dedicated to strengthening protection standards for freelancers.

“IPI’s engagement in the promotion of journalist safety encompasses both the need to strengthen state mechanisms that provide the conditions for journalists to operate without fear of retaliation, as well as the importance of adopting newsroom guidelines to ensure that journalists covering dangerous environments are properly equipped and well prepared”, IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi said.

She continued: “We welcome the appointment of John Daniszewski to the position of special representative for journalist safety. His dedication to the promotion of safety practices is valued by the global IPI community and he will serve as a leading voice in further strengthening IPI’s efforts in this area.”