J-SOS Mission

Journalism Source of Safety (J-SOS) is an online toolkit that offers trauma-informed and identity-aware journalist safety checklists, tips, gear advice, and other necessary security information for all journalists, including freelancers and students, with an emphasis on equity and ethics. It is imagined as a globally accessible resource addressing specific risk management tools, techniques and considerations for journalists with diverse bodies and backgrounds reporting in a variety of environments.

As an identity-aware and equity-focused project, it specifically centers the needs, embodiments, and experiences of journalists from marginalized backgrounds (i.e. women/nonbinary, QTPOC, BIPOC, immigrant, Majority World/Global South, differently abled, etc). J-SOS offers resources for everyday encounters in reporting and documentary, rather than responding primarily to the needs of conflict and war zone reporters.

This project is produced with support by the 2022-2023Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellowship.

Please Note

By visiting this website, you acknowledge that the safety advice offered on the J-SOS website and across all of its materials are suggestions and are not legally binding. The safety tips and tools provided by J-SOS should not be used in lieu of formal in-person safety training, such as a HEFAT for journalists. J-SOS safety advice is not sufficient to prepare anyone to report in a potentially life-threatening environment such as raging wildfires, war or political conflict zones.

Any person who either visits the website or utilizes the resources therein agrees to hold harmless the J-S0S project collaborators, the Reynolds Journalism Institute and all related assignees.

Tara smiling away from the camera

Project Lead

Tara Pixley, PHD

Tara Pixley, is a queer Jamaican-American photographer and professor with a 20-year career in visual journalism. She is a 2022 Reynolds Journalism Fellow and Pulitzer Center Grantee, a 2021 IWMF NextGen Fellow, a 2020 recipient of the World Press Photo Solutions Visual Journalism Initiative and was a 2016 Visiting Knight Fellow at Harvard University's Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Her writing and photography have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Allure, People, ProPublica, HuffPost, Nieman Reports, ESPN, and the Black Scholar, among many other publications. She has been a photo editor for CNN.com, New York Times, and Newsweek.

As a safety trainer and social impact consultant, Dr. Pixley combines her expertise in visual storytelling, critical cultural studies, and equity practices to work with media organizations, brands, production companies, film sets, and nonprofits. She has led 35+ workshops, panels, and guest lectures on visual ethics, journalist safety, the social impact of visual storytelling, inclusive pedagogy, and decolonizing journalism for dozens of newsrooms, museums, colleges, and organizations. Currently, Dr. Pixley is producing the Source of Safety project and documenting environmental justice issues of Southern California oil production. Most recently, she oversaw the research and writing of the 2022 State of Photography Report and edited the Guide to Inclusive Photography. She is also a co-Author of the Photo Bill of Rights and Executive Director of Authority Collective — an organization dedicated to diversifying perspectives in visual media.


  • Vanessa Charlot

    Vanessa Charlot is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, lecturer, curator and media safety trainer. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Multimedia at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media. Her work focuses on the intersectionality of race, politics, culture and sexual/gender expression to explore the collective human experience. The purpose of her work is to produce visual representations free of an oppressive gaze. Vanessa seeks to humanize Black bodies through her photography, restoring the dignity and vitality of those often shot as subjects divorced from context, motives, and histories. Her work invites us all to question our relationship to what we think about when we see Black bodies as static images and in motion.

    She has worked throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Her photographs have been commissioned by the New York Times, Gucci, Vogue, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Oprah Magazine, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Apple, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, Artnet News, The Washington Post and other national and international publications. Vanessa lectures at the International Center of Photography and is the recipient of the International Women's Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award for 2021. She is currently an Emerson Collective Fellow.

  • Kat Contreras

    Kat Contreras is a digital media producer and full stack developer, who brings a diverse range of skills to the table. They have extensive experience working with non-profit organizations and small businesses, developing a reputation for being a multi-hyphenate creative professional who can deliver engaging designs, authentic stories and scalable solutions that leverage the latest technology trends.

    As a digital media producer, they have had the privilege of working on projects, each one a unique opportunity to tell a powerful story and capture the attention of a large audience. From creating stunning footage to crafting captivating graphic assets, they’ve been able to generate impressions ranging from 1.1M to 6.5M across a wide range of outlets, including Essence, Variety, NYFW, Rodarte, Forbes, Afropunk, Los Angeles Times, The Advocate, Refinery29 (R29), Billboard, Nike, Wonderful Machine, Toms, Time Magazine, Fast Company, and Esquire.

    Kat thrives at the intersection of media and technology, and is particularly passionate about creating visually stunning and accessible designs, as well as technology solutions that improve online interactions for everyone.

  • Mari Galicer

    Mari Galicer is a technologist and educator working at the intersection of privacy, safety, and software. As a digital security trainer, she aims to create accessible and collaborative spaces for learning about digital safety, centered in the needs of those not traditionally represented in journalism and tech. As a researcher and software developer, she has worked with Mozilla, ACLU, NYU, and several start ups. She is currently a product manager for consumer privacy at Cloudflare.

  • Rosem Morton

    Rosem Morton, is a Filipina photojournalist, nurse and safety trainer based in Baltimore, Maryland. As a visual journalist, she is a National Geographic Explorer whose work focuses on daily life amidst gender, health, and racial adversity. She documents issues from the effects of gender based violence, the unheard stories of healthcare workers, to the legacies of western colonization that have shaped Filipino culture and migration. Her work has been awarded the Leica Women Photo Award and the Visa d'or Daily Press Award. She has also been recognized by the Pictures of the Year International, the World Press Photo 6x6 Talent and the 30 under 30 list. Rosem has worked at major trauma centers as a registered nurse for the last 10 years. She draws on these experiences alongside the IWMF Next Gen Fellowship to provide holistic safety trainings for journalists.

Source of Safety Blogs

For more information on this project, check out the Source of Safety blogswritten by Tara Pixley and published on the Reynolds Journalism Institute website.