A Company Is Offering Riot Training for Reporters Covering RNC, DNC Conventions

By Kevin Eck 

A company staffed by former military personnel that teaches journalists how to handle stressful situations like coming under machine gun fire, avoiding kidnapping attempts and dealing with demands for bribes is offering a safety class for journalists covering July’s Republican convention in Cleveland.

U.S. News & World Report says for $1,195 reporters can take a two day course from Global Journalist Security featuring realistic protest and “party militant” simulations. The group, whose website says it offers “Hostile Environments training, normally prepares reporters for work in sub-Saharan Africa, Syria or Afghanistan.

Training for journalists will cover basic first aid, self-defense and a lesson on reporters’ rights, and will emphasize practical tips for dealing with police and escaping confrontations, ideally with equipment intact and detention avoided.

“You may have a right to be there, but your demeanor may dictate whether you’re getting arrested,” Smyth says.

The convention course is a modified version of the group’s civil unrest training and intends to be equally applicable to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

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