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:
New report on internet shutdowns
Access Now launched its new report for the #KeepItOn campaign on internet shutdowns in 2021. More information on internet shutdowns and digital safety more broadly can be found here.
New online course
A new course was launched on the Totem platform in English: Risk Analysis.
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.
Free Press Unlimited directs its efforts to address safety along four different pillars, being support to journalists in distress, capacity development, tools and resources, and advocacy and campaigning.
Free Press Unlimited’s work on the safety of journalists builds upon a number of key international instruments, which reflect international commitments to further the safety of journalists.
Free Press Unlimited works together with other like-minded organisations in a number of international networks and coalitions in order to contribute towards journalist safety, both locally and internationally.
Evidence base: Safety of journalists
|Threats that Silence: Trends in the Safety of Journalists||2021||Global||UNESCO||Chorbacher, T. et al.|
|Murders, Physical Assaults & Online Harassment: Silencing Journalism in Somalia. Somalia Annual Press Freedom Report 2020 – 2021||2021||Somalia||Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ)||Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ)|
|Sexual Harassment in the Media||2021||Africa||WAN-IFRA||Ireton, C.|
|Safe. Strong. Viable. The Symbosis Between Media Safety and Media Viability||2021||Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Mexico, Philippines||Deutsche Welle Akademie||Aldenrath, P. et al.|
|Investigating the killing of journalist Regina Martínez Pérez||2021||Mexico||Free Press Unlimited||A Safer World For The Truth|
|Investigating the killing of journalist Zubair Mujahid||2021||Pakistan||Free Press Unlimited||A Safer World For The Truth|
|Journalists’ Experience and Views on Judicial Transparency in North Macedonia||2021||North Macedonia||Association of Journalists of Macedonia||Pashoski, D.|
|Global Toolkit for Judicial Actors: International Legal Standards on Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Safety of Journalists||2021||Global||UNESCO||Barata Mir, J. & C. Botero|
|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 (CMPF), European University Insitute||Brogi, E. et al.|
|Journalism in Bangladesh during Corona Pandemic||2020||Bangladesh||South Asia Center for Media in Development (SACMID)||Sultana, A. et al.|
|Breaking the Silence||2020||Europe||Index on Censorship||Mhainín, J.N.|
|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||Mhainín, J.N.|