Arizona Project Legacy: Protecting journalists from new threats

  • Event: 2017 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Mark Monday of San Diego Union-Tribune; Tom Liffiton of The Research School
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Jun. 22 at 10:15am
  • Location: Grand Canyon 7
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

Journalists face a myriad of threats as they pursue truth in dangerous places with dangerous people. Protecting information and sources -- as well as yourself -- can be complicated, and a journalist must think like a spymaster. We will examine cases from journalism, business espionage and the world of counterintelligence to identify some best practices.

Speaker Bios

  • Tom Liffiton, a former Special Agent of the FBI, is currently a member of The Research School, which studies and promotes effective and secure research methods.

  • Worked at Arizona Republic doing investigative work before moving to San Diego Tribune where he investigated foster care abuses, Mafia infiltration of governments and consumer rip-offs. He was part of the team of writers who won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for General Local Reporting. after journalism he wrote and edited training manuals for the U.S. Navy SEALs, did Open Source Resource (OSINT) Intelligence, and was the OSINT instructor at the Army Intelligence School.

Related Tipsheets

  • Arizona Project Legacy – Protecting Journalists From New Threats
    Journalists face a myriad of threats as they pursue truth in dangerous places with dangerous people. Protecting information and sources, and protecting one’s own skin - all are complicated. The journalist must think like a spymaster, and we will examine cases from journalism, from business espionage, and from the world of counterintelligence to identify some best practices.

  • Bylines, not Tombstones: Self-Protection for Journalists and Sources
    804 journalists have been murdered since 1992 because of the job they were doing, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Countless other journalists were verbally or physically attacked because of their work. Compare that to the 113 deaths the CIA says it has suffered since its founding in 1949. Part of the reason Journalists seem more at risk is that federal agents are trained in, and practice, tradecraft. Journalists – well, not so much. Many gamble that nothing will happen to them. Security should never be a bet or a gamble, a reliance on luck. Professional bettors are not gamblers. They know the odds. They understand how to count the cards. Tradecraft removes much, but not all, of the need for luck in providing security. Tradecraft eliminates the gamble when the journalist makes a security decision.