The Assault on Journalism

Building knowledge to protect freedom of expression

People who exercise their right to freedom of expression through journalism should be able to practice their work without restrictions. They are, nonetheless, the constant targets of violence and threats. In an era of globalization and digitization, no single party can alone carry the responsibility for protection of journalism and freedom of expression. Instead, this responsibility must be assumed jointly by the state, the courts, media companies and journalist organizations, as well as by NGOs and civil society – on national as well as global levels.

To support joint efforts to protect journalism, there is a growing need for research- based knowledge. Acknowledging this need, the aim of this publication is to highlight and fuel journalist safety as a field of research, to encourage worldwide participation, as well as to inspire further dialogues and new research initiatives. The contributions represent diverse perspectives on both empirical and theoretical research and offer many quantitatively and qualitatively informed insights. The articles demonstrate that a new important interdisciplinary research field is in fact emerging, and that the fundamental issue remains identical: Violence and threats against journalists constitute an attack on freedom of expression.

The publication is the result of collaboration between the UNESCO Chair at the University of Gothenburg, UNESCO, IAMCR and a range of other partners.



Words of Introduction

Ulla Carlsson
Reeta Pöyhtäri


Journalist Killings and the Responsibility to Report

Simon Cottle

Why the World Became Concerned with Journalistic Safety, and Why the Issue Will Continue to Attract Attention

Guy Berger

The United Nations’ Role in Promoting the Safety of Journalists from 1945 to 2016

Silvia Chocarro Marcesse

Gendering War and Peace Journalism. New challenges for media research

Berit von der Lippe
Rune Ottosen

Collaboration Is the Future. Doing research in the network era

Thomas Hanitzsch


1. Reflection, Reconsideration, Collaboration

A Country without Mercy. Afghan journalists caught in crossfires

Elisabeth Eide

The Cost of Truth Telling in India. Reporting in the context of intolerance

Pradip Ninan Thomas

Philippine and Global Research on News Media Safety. Crossing disciplines, bridging gaps

Ramon R. Tuazon
Paz H. Diaz
Therese Patricia C. San Diego

UNESCO’s Research Agenda on the Safety of Journalists. Call for new academic research initiatives

Reeta Pöyhtäri

Setting a New Research Agenda. The establishment of a journalism safety research network

Jackie Harrison

Journalism Schools Must Include Safety Courses in Curricula

Magda Abu-Fadil

2. How to Measure Safety of Journalists

Assaults against Journalists. We see the tip of the iceberg

Katharine Sarikakis

Measuring Journalism Safety. Methodological challenges

Sara Torsner


Introduction. Explorations in an Emerging Research Field

Ari Heinonen

1. Threats and Violence against Journalists, and Its Effects

Tribal Journalists under Fire. Threats, impunity and decision making in reporting on conflict in Pakistan

Syed Irfan Ashraf
Lisa Brooten

How Journalists Survived to Report. Professionalism and risk management in the reporting of terror groups and violent extremism in North East Nigeria

Umaru A. Pate
Hamza Idris

Safety Concerns in the Nigerian Media. What gender dynamics?

Lilian Ngusuur Unaegbu

The Psychological Wellbeing of Iranian Journalists

Anthony Feinstein
Bennis Pavisian

Violence against Indigenous Journalists in Colombia and Latin America

Roy Krøvel

The Dangers of Sports Journalism

Kirsten Sparre


Unwarranted Interference, Fear and Self-censorship among Journalists in Council of Europe Member States

Marilyn Clark
Anna Grech

Internal Threats and Safety of Journalists. A study from India

Sriram Arulchelvan

Australian News Photographers, Safety and Trauma

Fay Anderson

Risk and Resilience among Journalists Covering Potentially Traumatic Events

Trond Idås
Klas Backholm

2. Protection of Journalists and Sources

What’s Wrong with War Journalism? Why and how legal aspects of conflicts need better reporting

Stig A. Nohrstedt
Rune Ottosen

Embedded Journalism and Its Implications in the Field.

Leire Iturregui Mardaras
María José Cantalapiedra González
Leire Moure Peñín

The Protection of Citizen Journalists during Armed Conflicts. A legal approach

Mariateresa Garrido Villareal

How Safe Is It? Being an activist citizen journalist in Turkey

Bora Ataman and Barış Çoban

A Story Bigger than Your Life? The safety challenges of journalists reporting on democratization conflicts

Judith Lohner
Sandra Banjac

How Unsafe Contexts and Overlapping Risks Influence Journalism Practice. Evidence from a survey of Mexican journalists

Sallie Hughes
Mireya Márquez-Ramírez


Foreign Correspondents and Local Journalists. A key newsgathering partnership, for safety and for the global public good

Giovanna Dell’Orto

Freedom under Pressure. Threats to journalists’ safety in Pakistan

Sadia Jamil

Digital Safety among Nigerian Journalists. Knowledge, attitudes and practice

Olunifesi Adekunle Suraj
Olawale Olaleye

The Authors

REPUBLICATION OF: Time to Break the Cycle of Violence against Journalists. Highlights from the UNESCO Director-General’s 2016 Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity. UNESCO, Paris, 2016


1. UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity

2. UNESCO: Towards a Research Agenda on the Safety of Journalists

Printed, PDF
Research Antologies
280,00 kr
30,00 EUR