Rodney Pinder was the founding director of the International News Safety Institute, a non-profit dedicated to the safety of journalists and other news media personnel working in areas of danger of all kinds. The non-governmental, independent institute was created in 2003 by news organizations and support groups out of growing concern over the increasing number of attacks on journalists.
More than 1,000 news media workers – journalists and critical support staff -- have died in the line of duty in the past decade. INSI is an unprecedented coalition of the news media and individual journalists, media freedom groups, journalist unions and humanitarian campaigners working to create a culture of safety in news gathering. It operates as a network for safety information and advice that will be of help to journalists in the field, with its website as its hub. The institute raises funds from international donors to provide basic safety training free of charge for journalists and other news professionals around the world who are unable to afford their own. It has so far trained more than 1,600 news media staff and freelances in 21 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.
Amongst other initiatives, INSI undertook a global inquiry, the first of its kind, into the causes of journalist deaths and produced a report and recommendations for action by governments and the international community. The survey disclosed most casualties were not war correspondents but ordinary reporters trying to expose crime and corruption in their own countries in peacetime. It also worked with members to persuade the UN Security Council to pass Resolution 1738 in 2006 on the safety of journalists in conflict. It has also set up a kidnap/hostage help network.
Pinder is a former senior foreign correspondent and news executive for Reuters. He retired in 2002 after four years as global Editor of Reuters Television News and 37 years covering international affairs in three hemispheres for Reuters and AP. He has a long experience of conflict reporting. He has covered wars and civil conflicts in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, Southern and South Africa, Indonesia, Iraq and Iran and the Gulf.