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.
Evidence base: Safety of journalists
|States of Control: COVID, Cuts and Impunity: South Asia Press Freedom Report 2019-2020||2020||Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka||International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)||International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)|
|Balancing Act: Countering Digital Disinformation While Respecting Freedom of Expression||2020||Global||Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development||Bontcheva, K. & Posetti, J. (eds.)|
|COVID-19 News Organisations Safety Protocols: Working with Freelancers||2020||Global||ACOS Alliance||ACOS Alliance|
|Online violence Against Women Journalists: A Global Snapshot of Incidence and Impacts||2020||Global||UNESCO and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ)||Posetti, J. et al.|
|Journalism Without Fear or Favour: Background Paper on Safety Challenges of Journalists in Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia||2020||Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines||Free Press Unlimited||Aziz, M.|
|Joint stakeholder submission UPR Nepal 2021||2020||Nepal||Freedom Forum and Free Press Unlimited||Freedom Forum and Free Press Unlimited|
|Internal Evaluation Reporters Respond and Legal Defense Fund (2018-2019)||2020||Global||Free Press Unlimited||Aziz, M.|
|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.|
|Targeting the Messenger: Journalists Ensnared by National Security Legislation||2019||Europe||Mapping Media Freedom||Perrone, A.|
|Hungary: Conclusions of the Joint International Press Freedom Mission||2019||Hungary||ARTICLE 19||International Press Institute (IPI), Article 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPFM), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO).|