INSI News in March

After almost nine years at the International News Safety Institute, director Hannah Storm is moving on. She reflects on the extraordinary changes the media industry has been through over the past decade and the impact they’ve had on the safety of journalists.

“Back when I started at INSI, no one could have imagined that the Arab Spring would bring down governments across the Middle East. Few had heard of ISIS. Social media had not become weaponised to the extent it now has, and journalists - although not always trusted and admired - were not attacked online to the degree they are today: attacks that sometimes cross over into the physical world and certainly impact on the emotional safety of our colleagues.

“Back then, I could never have imagined the US President referring to journalists as ‘the enemy of the people’, or that journalists could be murdered in broad daylight in Europe with apparent impunity.”

Read more about Hannah Storm's time at INSI here.

INSI members gather in New York

Over the past decade, INSI has responded to the threats against journalists by establishing online and offline networks for our members, which bring competing news organisations together in a safe and confidential space to share information so we can build a more comprehensive safety picture for everyone who participates.

This month we brought many of our members together at one of our regular meetings, this time hosted by BuzzFeed in New York, which looked at hostility towards the press and best practices on digital safety.

The Media’s #MeToo Problem on International Women’s Day

Journalism classrooms may be dominated by women, but global media are still ruled by men, who occupy the majority of management positions, report more stories and are more frequently presented as expert voices. 

This imbalance is reflected in the content newsrooms produce, with fewer written words and broadcast seconds dedicated to telling women’s stories. It is also reflected in the industry’s culture, which leaves women more vulnerable to sexual harassment and abuse.

Given the importance of relationship-building in media, not to mention the desire for connection among journalists who cover extreme or harrowing events in difficult environments, intimate ties can easily form among colleagues and associates. The problem arises when these relationships turn sour or, worse, when they are non-consensual or based on coercion, such as when a more senior colleague pursues a sexual relationship with a subordinate.

Read more from Hannah Storm about the media's #MeToo problem here.

We'd like to thank Hannah for her work at INSI and welcome our new director Elena Cosentino who starts at the beginning of April.