The Newsroom Security Curriculum is a collaborative project. It gets better every time anyone from the journalism, tech, and security communities shares advice, writes up an experience, asks a question, or even just spots a typo. We’d love to add your voice to this project.

Who should contribute

This project actively encourages contributions from people of all genders and statuses, races, ethnicities, ages, creeds, nationalities, persuasions, alignments, sizes, shapes, and journalistic affiliations. You are welcome here. By participating in this project, you are agreeing to abide by its code of conduct.

The curriculum also benefits from contributors of all skill levels. Sharing a resource that helped you understand something for the first time is awesome. Telling everyone about a training game your colleagues loved is awesome, too. And so is just asking a question, as you think about how your newsroom can better protect its journalists and sources.

If you’re wondering what you might be able to offer this project, here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Could you read through a lesson plan and tell us what seems helpful and what’s confusing?
  • Could you write up a case study about a security situation you’ve run into?
  • Could you describe the cultural roadblocks you’ve run into trying to bring more security to your newsroom, and how you’ve pushed through them?
  • Could you help add checklists at the ends of lessons?
  • Could you describe how security needs might be different in different countries, or work on translating documentation into another language?

Even just adding a quick link or two is a great way to contribute. If you’ve got a timely article or an old favorite that really captures the value of taking a lesson seriously, those add fantastic context. We don’t want to duplicate work that other people have done better already, and we recognize that this is just one of many great resources. So if you know of a great lesson plan or walkthrough somewhere else, there’s a section in each lesson for links, and our resource guide is an excellent spot for links that don’t fit a specific lesson. Share your favorites.

And one more way to help us make this project even better:

  • Try out one of these lesson plans and let us know how it goes!

More than anything, we want this curriculum to be useful to people as they help their colleagues get better at security. We’d love to hear how well these lessons work in your newsroom, and what we can do to improve them.

Where to start

The documentation in this guidebook lives in a GitHub repository, where we love to see comments, issues, and pull requests. If you’re interested in contributing but you’re not sure where to start, we have a list of open issues—pick one and dive in!

How to contribute

If you’d like to submit an update to this guidebook, first of all, thank you! If your changes could use some editorial consideration, please open an issue on GitHub so there’s an easy place to have that conversation. Or if you’re tackling an existing issue, please leave a comment on the issue to let people know—that way someone else won’t end up duplicating your effort.

If you’re comfortable using git and GitHub, you should feel free to submit changes by cloning this project and opening a pull request. (And when you do, we’d love it if you’d add yourself to the AUTHORS list as well.) If you’re not used to git, we’re also very happy to receive comments and updates at


The first draft of this resource is largely designed for U.S. and Canadian newsrooms. We’d love to introduce similar lessons for journalists in other countries, but we understand that it’s not as simple as translating existing material into different languages. If you’re familiar with the laws and expectations involved in keeping journalism secure in a country outside our area of expertise, we’d love to have your help.

Our process

This documentation is released under the MIT license, so by submitting an update, you’re agreeing to share your changes under this license as well. We may edit your work for style and consistency with the rest of the guidebook, or offer feedback about anything that might need to be revised.

When we merge your changes, this project will acknowledge you in the AUTHORS list, and the Field Guide to Open Source in the Newsroom will just have gotten significantly better.

Code of conduct

OpenNews is committed to providing a welcoming and harassment-free environment. This project exists in a public space, so we think it’s particularly important to identify our principles in creating a supportive community.

Participants in this project agree to:

  • Be considerate in speech and actions, and actively acknowledge and respect the boundaries of fellow contributors.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech. Harassment includes, but is not limited to: deliberate intimidation; sustained or willful disruption of conversations or other work; use of sexual or discriminatory imagery, comments, or jokes; and unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Be welcoming, friendly, patient, and kind. Ask questions. In disagreement or critique, explain why you feel the way you do, and recognize that other contributors also make decisions with good intentions and the best information available to them.

If anyone violates this code of conduct, project coordinators may take any action we deem appropriate, including but not limited to warning the participant or banning them from contribution.

Instances of abuse, harassment, or other unacceptable behavior may be reported by emailing, an address that reaches all OpenNews staff members.


Language on welcoming all communities adapted from the agate project. Code of conduct adapted from SRCCON and INN.