Working in a hostile environment – experiences from KirkukNow, Iraq, disputed territories
The independent news website KirkukNow operates in a religiously, ethnically, and politically highly diverse region, which is characterized by an environment of permanent violence and threat. Reporters are repeatedly arrested; the media outlet regularly has to deal with charges and court cases; female journalists face harsh conditions when reporting in the field.
KirkukNow's Resilience Strategy
To survive in this conservative and fragile context, it is important for KirkukNow’s reporting to be unbiased, impartial, and free from any political, ideological, religious and ethnic agenda. To avoid being labeled, the media outlet established a diverse team of journalists. The newsroom policy is to respect ethnic, religious and cultural diversity, and to consistently publish articles which further coexistence in the disputed territories. To reach as many people as possible, KirkukNow publishes in the three main languages of the area – Arabic, Kurdish, and Turkmen – as well as in English, with the aim of promoting coexistence and providing easy access to information.
Top 5 recommendations for resilience when working in a hostile environment
"We have a very diverse team. We do not have boundaries for women, for men or for being from a different religious and ethnic background. Like this it is very comfortable for interview partners from different backgrounds to get in contact with us and for journalists to be a freelancer for us."
Salam Omer, editor-in-chief, KirkukNow, Iraq