Media watchdogs at Reporters Without Borders have released a blogger’s handbook to help protect independent publishers from censorship and litigation.

The book, which is available for download, offers bloggers advice on setting-up, publicising and building a site’s reputation. The book is called The Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-dissidents.

Part-funded by the French government, the handbook also offers advice for bloggers writing in countries with harsh legal restrictions, such as Iran and China.

A note on the group’s website says: “Bloggers are often the only real journalists in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure. Only they provide independent news, at the risk of displeasing the government and sometimes courting arrest.”

To protect writers against such consequences, the book also offers technical advice to help circumvent censorship, and tips on blogging anonymously.