Develop a network

 

A support network begins with your immediate family, then radiates out to close friends, committed colleagues, your employer, and then institutions like human rights organizations, free speech societies, and professional legal groups.  This network should include other journalists ready to write articles about your situation and the forces that are aligned against you.  It might include a few friends willing to provide you with a safe house if you are being hunted by the authorities.  A wide and diverse support network is one of the best defenses you can have when dealing with the forces working against you.  Developing a network is something entirely within your own control.  As you develop that network, you will feel empowered and encouraged that perhaps you can get yourself out of the crisis after all.

Use the Internet to connect with your defense network.  In your e-mail system develop an address list of all the people in your support network.  Even your Facebook page is part of your support network, and if you are going to be drawing cartoons that approach the red line, having a wide and deep defense network on social media is a very important tool that can work in your favor.  

Having a number of international helping organizations (See our list at the end of this manual.) as part of your network of supporters and helpers is of critical importance.  These networks should be part of your daily life, whether you're having trouble with authorities or not.  Having a strong network oriented towards free speech and human rights is part of your cartoonist’s toolbox as much as a favorite pen and sheaf of blank paper.

Summary:

  • Well before you ever get into any trouble, develop comprehensive support networks both personal, professional and legal.

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