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.
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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
|Engendering Hate: The Countours of State-Aligned Gendered Disinformation Online||2020||Philippines, Poland||Demos||Judson, E. et al.|
|Impact of the 2015 Universal Periodic Review on Press Freedom in Nepal||2020||Nepal||Free Press Unlimited||Thakur, M.|
|Journalism & the Pandemic: A Global Snapshot of Impacts||2020||Global||International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) & Tow Center for Digital Journalism||Posetti, J. et al.|
|Safety of Journalists and the Fighting of Corruption in the EU||2020||Denmark, Europe, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden||Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam||McGonagle, T. et al.|
|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.|
|Legal Responses to Online Harassment and Abuse of Journalists: Perspectives from Finland, France and Ireland||2019||Finland, France, Ireland||OSCE - Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media & International Press Institute||McCully, J.|