Press Syndicate Secretary-General Karem Mahmoud told Ahram Online that the interior ministry has agreed to dispatch 100 helmets and bulletproof vests to the syndicate, with the first batch of 30 expected within the week.
"The syndicate has also sent a request to the Ministry of Defence demanding a supply of protective gear such as gas masks, helmets and bulletproof vests,” Mahmoud said, adding that though the ministry welcomed the request, no action has yet been taken.
Mahmoud also informed Ahram Online of an initiative, sparked by the death of young reporter Mayada Ashraf, to train journalists for field coverage.
"The training is open for all journalists, freelancers and photojournalists. All they must do to obtain permission to attend is certify that they work for a media outlet," said Mahmoud.
The secretary-general also highlighted the soon-to-be-announced reopening of candidacies to Press Syndicate affiliation for journalists who are not officially appointed at their institutions.
"This is an attempt by the syndicate to protect non-appointed journalists who engage in field reporting, since they do not benefit from any form of insurance coverage," he said, adding that the syndicate is yet to set affiliation criteria.
Meanwhile, syndicate legal adviser Sayed Abou Zeid told Ahram Online that legal investigations are underway in all the violence and abuse cases that have befallen Egyptian journalists.
"The number of law suits filed daily by journalists against the violations they face while reporting in the field is increasing," the lawyer said.
Having said that, Mahmoud and Abou Zeid both agree that it is the media institutions' responsibility to carefully select the journalists who cover clashes.
Nabil agrees, stating that journalists like Mayada, as yet untrained and inexperienced, should not be requested by their institutions to conduct field reporting in hazardous circumstances.
Khaled Salah, editor-in-chief of the local daily Youm7 newspaper ordered last week the appointment of all journalists who cover field events in order to offer them full insurance.
Salah also addressed a speech to all other local media entities urging them to appoint every reporter who covers events from the field.
Suggestions by the CPJ
Aboul-Kheir believes the government and media institutions must play a crucial role in putting an end to the risks of violence regularly faced by journalists in Egypt.
Security forces, she elaborated, must be officially trained to respectfully treat journalists – an initiative, Aboul-Kheir believes, that should be undertaken by Egypt's cabinet and presidency.
Additionally, "The presidency should issue a law or decree banning all forms of violations against journalists," she stated to Ahram Online, adding that the unauthorised detention of journalists must similarly be banned.
"All those working as freelancer, journalists or photojournalists should also initiate rights groups in order to demand the rights of those who are not officially appointed at the institutions they work with," Aboul-Kheir concluded.