Press freedom and the space for independent media are under threat, as stipulated in various UN resolutions addressing journalist safety. UN Sectary-General Guterres stated that ‘civic space has been shrinking worldwide at an alarming rate. And with anti-media rhetoric on the rise, so too are violence and harassment against journalists, including women … When media workers are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price.’ Governments practise legal intimidation and censorship of dissenting voices, also in the digital space. Criminal gangs threaten those who report on corruption. The result is that journalists exercise self-censorship, leave the profession, disappear into exile or stay silent. This is a deliberate attack on civic space that requires a cross-cutting approach to safety of journalists.
This Safety Resource Space is the place to find information on the safety of journalists. It includes information on Free Press Unlimited’s safety-related activities, background information on the safety of journalists, practical resources, and best practices and examples of successful projects and approaches.
Explore the following topics:
Totem courses available in Arabic
On 7 September the Totem Project released five courses that were contextualised and translated into Arabic. The courses have a special focus on Iraq and Syria’s difficult contexts for activists and journalists facing digital threats.
New online course: Know Your Trolls
The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) created a course on online harassment for Totem, helping journalists to identify and prepare for online harassment, abuse and threats. It is available in English, French and Spanish.
Free Press Unlimited believes that a safe work environment is a basic need for independent media. It is imperative that journalists carry out their work free from violence and free from obstruction. A commitment to safety cuts across all of Free Press Unlimited’s activities.
Free Press Unlimited believes that safety should be approached as a comprehensive concept that has physical, psycho-social, digital and legal dimensions. As these dimensions of safety impact on each other, it is important to adopt an inclusive approach, that also takes gender into account.
Evidence base: Safety of journalists
|Journalism & the Pandemic: A Global Snapshot of Impacts||2020||Global||International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) & Tow Center for Digital Journalism||report|
|Impact of the 2015 Universal Periodic Review on Press Freedom in Nepal||2020||Nepal||Meenal Thakur||policy recommendations, report|
|A Gathering Storm: The Laws Being Used to Silence the Media||2020||Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Europe, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom||Index on Censorship||report|
|Breaking the Silence||2020||Europe||Index on Censorship||report|
|Hostile Bytes; A study of online violence against women journalists||2019||Pakistan||Media Matters for Democracy||research report|
|Women’s rights: forbidden subject||2018||Global||Reporters without Borders||research report|
|Journalism in Bangladesh during Corona Pandemic||2020||Bangladesh||South Asia Center for Media in Development (SACMID)||book|
|Media Pluralism Monitor 2020||2020||Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eastern Europe, Estonia, Europe, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom||Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom - European University Insitute||briefing, media landscape assessment, policy brief, research report, trend report|
|Women Journalists and Freedom of Expression: Discrimination and gender-based violence faced by women journalists in the exercise of their profession||2018||Americas||Inter-American Commission on Human Rights||report|
|‘This can save our lives’: safety training for El Salvador’s local journalists||2019||El Salvador||Free Press Unlimited||story/stories|
|Nicaragua: psychological support for Confidencial’s journalists||2019||Nicaragua||Free Press Unlimited||story/stories|
|Righting Gender Wrongs: A Study of Law Enforcement Responses to Online Violence Against Women||2018||India||IT for Change||research report|