Journalist Travelers

Sometimes, journalism involves traveling to dangerous places. Before you travel abroad, understand entry requirements, a specific visa might be required when engaging in your work; local laws, especially as they relate to freedom of speech; and potential security concerns.

Take the Time to Learn About Your Destination

Some countries do not protect freedom of speech and the press. You might be prohibited from bringing in some equipment and from taking pictures/videos of certain buildings, border areas, or government officials. Read the State Department’s Human Rights reports to learn more about freedoms in specific countries.

Travel Tips

  • Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP emails you travel and safety updates.
  • Read our Country Information pages. They have information about your destinations. Make sure you understand the visa rules and processes of the country. Do you need a special journalist visa to work there? What are the penalties for people who report without that visa?
  • When you arrive in a country, contact the Public Affairs Section at the local U.S. embassy. They can tell you about conditions for journalists in that country.
  • Find out if you must register with a local press syndicate. Find out if you need official press credentials. Sometimes, countries may tolerate “informal” journalists. Whether they tolerate criticism of the local government is another matter. Not having a press credential might provide a reason to deport or imprison you.
  • Before traveling to high-risk areas, think about if it is necessary. Traveling to certain locations puts your life – and possibly the lives of others – at risk.
  • In a country with no U.S. embassy or consulate, the United States may have limited or no consular services. We may not be able to assist in the case of arrest, detention, or death abroad. See each country's Travel Advisory for more.
  • Review security information for journalists at the links below.
  • All travelers, including journalists, should have insurance. It should cover medical, evacuation, and unexpected costs.
  • Know the rules about importing security equipment. This includes protective vests, helmets, and satellite phones. Some countries may ban them.



The information above is provided for general information only and may not be applicable in a particular case. You should ask private legal counsel about interpreting specific U.S. or foreign laws.

This site is managed by the U.S. Department of State. External links to other Internet sites and listings of private entities on this page are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as the U.S. Department of State or U.S. government endorsement of the entity, its views, the products or services it provides, or the accuracy of information contained therein. The order in which links appear has no significance, and the listings or links may be removed at any time at the discretion of the Department.

Last Updated: March 4, 2024