IFEX Alerts

Refining your Alerts: The Power of Detail

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The following table compares and contrasts alerts writing language:


The journalist received the death threat after investigating the impact of an earthquake. PROBLEM: FoE link is unclear.
The journalist received the death threat after the broadcast of a programme in which he interviewed local residents. The local residents accused the mayor of embezzling funds allocated by the national government to assist victims of the August earthquake; many of the victims are apparently still homeless.

Articles 301 and 325 restrict press freedom. PROBLEM: does not explain how.

Articles 301 and 325 impose prison terms of 5 to 10 years for journalists making "unwarranted' criticism of a government official.

The soldier threatened the photographer. PROBLEM: does not explain the type of threat or why it was made.

The soldier threatened to beat the photographer if he didn't stop taking photographs of the police assaults on the demonstrators.

The demonstrators mistreated the journalists. PROBLEM: too vague.

The demonstrators insulted the journalists and pushed two cameramen from Candela TV to the ground, Jorge Gomez and Juan Rodríquez; the journalists were not injured, but their cameras were damaged beyond repair.

The mayor's security guards tried to interfere with the journalists' work. PROBLEM: does not explain how or why.

The mayor's security guards told the journalists that the mayor was not available for interviews.
The mayor's security guards punched the journalists, grabbed their digital cameras and erased their memory cards.

The journalist believes the death threat is work-related. PROBLEM: too vague.

The journalist suspects the death threat was made by allies of Arturo Rodríguez, who is now seeking a seat in the Senate, given that the day before the threat the journalist questioned the mayor's intelligence on his popular open-line show.

A leader of the women's organization was assaulted. PROBLEM: FoE link is unclear.

The leader of the Organización Femenina de Bolivar was violently assaulted by three unidentified masked men after distributing leaflets criticising the national government's negotiations with paramilitary groups.

Member XXX believes the newspaper is being harassed by tax officials, which violates press freedom. PROBLEM: the harassment does not constitute a FoE violation; too vague.

Member XXX believes that this particular newspaper is being singled out and harassed by tax officials because of its critical coverage of the national government. Pro-government newspapers that are also behind in their payment of newsprint import duties and taxes have not been visited by officials, nor has their equipment been confiscated.
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