April Update: Journalist Intimidation In Europe And Americas

Journalists in Europe are suffering violence, intimidation and self-censorship, according to a survey released in April by the Council of Europe. 

Almost one third of those questioned said they had experienced intimidation and violence as a result of their work, which had impacted their private lives and forced many to self-censor. More than two-thirds reported suffering threats of violence, one third cited police intimidation and 53 per cent said they were subjected to online harassment.

INSI was among five press freedom and media safety organisations that participated in the research, which sampled 940 journalists reporting from Council of Europe members states and Belarus.

“From physical attacks to online harassment and targeted surveillance, this report is just a snapshot of the range of tactics employed to threaten and silence journalists,” said INSI’s assistant director Anna Bevan who contributed to the study. “It shows that risks are not just limited to war reporting and countries in conflict but affect every journalist who attempts to hold power to account.”

We have a new member

The non-profit media outlet GroundTruth Project is the latest news organisation to become an INSI member.

“The GroundTruth Project is pleased to join the International News Safety Institute as journalism security is of paramount concern to us,” said Denise LiGreci, fellowships and field operations manager.

“Journalists can be exposed to a wide range of risks in the pursuit of important stories, including natural disaster, infectious disease, civil unrest, and digital security. The GroundTruth team looks forward to drawing upon the valuable resources and expertise-sharing that the INSI network provides to ensure that our reporting fellows have the proper support and up-to-date information they need in the field."

GroundTruth joins a growing network of members including Reuters, the BBC, ABC, CNN, Al Jazeera and many more of the world’s top news outlets. The Al Arabiya television network joined last month. 

“I thought that identifying myself as press would be enough. It wasn’t”

Freelance journalist Adam Schrader spoke to INSI last month about his arrest while covering the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in the US state of North Dakota. Schrader identified himself as a journalist but was taken into custody, jailed and charged. Read more here.

INSI director discusses online harassment

The growing problem of online harassment is troubling individual journalists and newsrooms alike. It's an issue confronted by both male and female journalists, but women are far more frequently subjected to sexual harassment and graphic threats of physical violence.

INSI director Hannah Storm recently discussed the issue of tackling trolls and online harassment at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia.

You can watch Hannah here.

Image by AFP