Vold mot journalister angår oss alle

Hvert år den 2. november markerer UNESCO den internasjonale dagen mot straffefrihet for vold mot journalister. For sjette år på rad organiserer forskergruppa Medier, Krig og Konflikt (MEKK) ved OsloMet konferanse om journalisters sikkerhet. Konferansen vil skje digitalt og strømmes.
Her kan du se hele programmet og her kan du registrere deg
De ni journalistene, Karen-Marie Ellefsen, Erling Borgen, Alexandra Beverfjord, Afshin Ismaeli, Tomm Kristiansen, Sigrun Slapgard, Hege Moe Eriksen og Ingeborg Huse Amundsen har opp i en video MEKK har laget i forbindelse med årets konferanse. Vi ønsker å belyse journalisters sikkerhet, og diskutere dette som et spørsmål som angår oss alle. Se hele videoen her

Forum Mexico: Violence and the safety of journalists in times of pandemic

On October 22, 23 and 24th The Network for Freedom of Expression against Violence to Communicators (La Red por la Libertad de Expresión contra la Violencia a Comunicadores) the Xochimilco Metropolitan Autonomous University and the Ibero-American University, Mexico, invited to an
International forum discussing challenges concerning violence and safety of journalists in times of pandemic. MEKK-member Roy Krøvel participated at the forum in the discussions around the Global panorama of insecurity towards journalists, together with the journalist and coordinator of Frontline Freelance Mexico Andalusía Knoll, moderated by Ramón Alvarado. UAM-X.

During three days important discussions took place and we highly recommend to have a look at the full program

Recordings of several of the presentations are available here

The Honorary Award by the National Association of Media Researchers to Rune Ottosen

Mekk member professor emeritus Rune Ottosen was Friday awarded  the Honorary Award by the National Association of Media Researchers. The award is distributed every second year to an outstanding member of the Norwegian research community who has made significant contributions at an elevated professional level and who has left lasting traces both in the field of media studies and in society in general.

Congratulations, Rune!

PROGRAM: The 6th international conference on the Safety of journalists – Risks, Resistance, Resilience


The 6th international conference on the

Safety of journalists – Risks, Resistance, Resilience

OsloMet, Norway

The conference will take place on November 2, 3 and 4th 2020 in connection with UNESCO’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists



Please register here

November 2nd

1445 – 1500    Opening

Welcome from OsloMet University

Professor Kristin Skare Orgeret & Roy Krøvel, heads of the Research group Media War & Conflikt (MEKK) & Ingrid Fadnes, journalist and member of MEKK

Nathalie Hyde-Clarke, Head of department of Journalism and Media Studies at OsloMet


The Blended Threat Model: Our adversaries don’t distinguish between digital and physical threats, why should we?

With Neena Kapur, Security Intelligence Manager New York Times & Donna Carrera, Threat Analyst New York Times

Modern day threats against journalists span across digital and physical realms, and are conducted by actors with varying levels of resources and capabilities. In this presentation, members of The New York Times information security and physical security teams will discuss a blended threat model for comprehensively tracking and building up strong security measures in this evolving threat landscape. They’ll provide an overview of proactive protective approaches their teams have taken, and trends they are seeing in threats against journalists.


November 3rd


Story of a Cartoonist

Arifur Rahman, Illustrator, Animator, Founder & Publisher of Toons Mag. Regional Representative (Northern Europe) of Cartoonists Rights Network International

Watch Political Satirists, Mind your Safety!

Mahmud Farjami, Iranian journalist and humor scholar. Currently working as Associate Professor at the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, OsloMet University



Break – 15 minutes



Screening & discussion

A short story of a feminist reporter in Turkey’s hostile NewsScape (9 min) Produced & Presented by Bora Ataman & Barış Çoban, Turkey

Making or Faking: A Documentary Film on Fake News and Disinformation (10 min) Produced & presented by Md Mahmudul Hoque, Bangladesh


Break – 30 minutes (Lunch)



The Persistence of Violence: Colombian Popular Culture, Presented by Toby Miller (ed) & Marta Milena Barrios Correra

Rethinking Safety of Journalists, Special Issue of ‘Media and Communication’ Presented by William Tayeebwa (ed)


Break – 15 minutes



Screening & discussion

Journalism in Colombia, from Risk to Resilience (11 min), Produced & presented by Marta Milena Barrios, Colombia

Mexican female journalists, resilience and resistance, Produced & presented by Yennué Zarate


1415 – 1430    Closing remarks day 2 & information on program, MEKK group


Break – 15 minutes


1445 – 1700   PAPER SESSIONS (Zoom – registration required)


1500 – 1530

Session 1:

Legal aspects of risk, resilience & resistance

1445 – 1545

Session 2:

Risk, Resilience & Resistance in conflict



1.     Ayetkin Kaan Kurtul: Telling the Truth or Inciting to Insurrection? The Impact of Sedition and “Fake News” Laws on Independent Journalism


2.     Dr. John Babu Koyye & Mohd Aamir Malik: Communication gag in India’s Kashmir after Article 370 abrogation: A case study of stakeholders’ perspectives



1.     Abdullahi Tasiu Abubakar: Uncivil sphere: The risks and resilience in reporting violent extremism


2.     Umaru A. Pate & Abubakar Jibril: Safety knowledge and threats among journalists covering conflicts in Northern Nigeria


3.     Abit Hoxha & Kenneth Andresen: Working conditions and routines in constructing collective memory in conflict. Case of Kosovo



1600 – 1700

Session 3:

Case studies – Safety



1600 – 1700

Session 4:

Collective resilience


1.     Ilmari Hiltunen: External Interference in Hybrid Media Environment –An interview Study


2.     Jennifer R. Henrichsen & Dr. Martin Shelton: Risks and Resistance to Information Security Education in Journalism Schools: A Case Study of the United States


3.     Signe Ivask: Estonia – collective resilience practices and experiences with self-censorship


1.     Florence Namasinga Selnes: Women as resistors of violence against journalists


2.     Lubna Zaheer: Resisting the Risks: Story of resilient Pakistani journalists


3.     Mariateresa Garrido: “La Voz de Guanacaste” a Costa Rican example of media resilience



November 4th


Screening & discussion

3R Zimbabwe (11 min), Produced & presented by Mercy Mangwana Mubayiwa, Zimbabwe

The Forsaken Heroes of COVID-19 (9 min), Produced & presented by Kriti Bhuju, Nepal


Break – 15 minutes



Journalist Safety and Self-Censorship, presented by Anna Grøndahl Larsen (ed)

Handbook of Research on Combating Threats to Media Freedom and Journalist Safety & Handbook of Research on Discrimination, Gender Disparity, and Safety Risks in Journalism, presented by Sadia Jamil (ed)

Digital Whistleblowing Platforms in Journalism. Encrypting Leaks presented by the author Philip Di Salvo


Break – 15 minutes



Screening & discussion

Against the tide: surviving being a journalist in Mexico, Produced & presented by Heriberto Paredes, Mexico

Safety of journalists – Risks, Resistance, Resilience – South Africa Documentary Project Focus, Produced & presented by Sara Chitambo, South Africa

Risk, Resilience and Resistance Journalism and journalists in Brazil in continuous resistance (9 min), Produced by Reporter Brazil, Elisabeth Saad & Daniela Osvald Ramos, Brazil


Break – 15 minutes

1445 – 1515    What is Missing to Ensure Journalists are Protected?

Media Freedom Rapid Response: Maria Francesca Rita from Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa, OBCT, Nik Williams, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, ECPMF, Luisa Chiodi, Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa, OBCT:


1515 – 1530    Closing remarks for the Sixth Conference on the Safety of Journalists – the way ahead, MEKK research group


Break – 15 minutes


1545 – 1800  PAPER SESSIONS (Zoom – registration required)


1545 – 1645

Session 5:

Collective resilience

1545 – 1645

Session 6:

Resistance & alternative media



1.     Sara Torsner & Jackie Harrison: A topographical account of the civil resistance of news journalism in circumstances of civil diminishment


2.     Samiksha Koirala & Nita Pandit Building Resistance for Protection and Safety of Journalists: A case study of Nepal


3.     Jose Luis Benitez: Journalism and resilience in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Central America



1.     Ramon R. Tuazon & Therese San Diego Torres: Digital Threats and Attacks on the Philippine Alternative Press: Range, Responses, and Remedies


2.     Mathias-Felipe de-Lima-Santos & Lucia Mesquita: Approaches of resistance and resilience for investigative journalism in Latin America


3.     Mireya Márquez Ramírez & Marcelino Nieto Brizio: Leaving risk for a better life? The experiences, struggles and challenges of displaced journalists in Mexico



1700 – 1800

Session 7:

Collective resilience


1700 – 1800

Session 8:

Experience & shares responsibilities


1.     José Luis Lemini Camarillo: Journalism & self-protection process in Mexico


2.     Olunfesi Suraj: Class Suit and Group Actions as strategic Public interest Litigation against Criminalizing free speech and ensuring safety of journalists in Nigeria


3.     Saumava Mitra: C’est un combat’: Risks and resilience among female photographers from the Global South




1.     Elisabeth Witchel: Shared responsibility: Safeguarding press freedom in perilous times.


2.     Elsebeth Frey: Preparing for risks and building resilience



3.     Evgenia Javakhishvili and Colleagues from SAFE initiative, IREX: Overcoming Challenges of Building Resilience in Survival Struggle






Skriveresidens på Svalbard

Picture from Artica Svalbard: https://articasvalbard.no/project/artica-svalbard-soker-ny-daglig-leder/
Picture from Artica Svalbard: https://articasvalbard.no/project/artica-svalbard-soker-ny-daglig-leder/


Rune Ottosen, professor emeritus ved OsloMet, og medlem av MEKK, kom til Longyearbyen i september nominert av Norsk Pen som forsker ved residensen Artica Svalbard. Ottosen har drevet research og gjennomført intervjuer for å se hvordan det påvirker Longyearbyens befolkning å leve i spenningsforholdet mellom Nato og Russland, der radarene er et konstant omstridt punkt i forhold Svalbardstraktatens bestemmelse om forbud mot militær aktivitet.

Ottosen har tidligere besøkt Artica i 2018 hvor han deltok i en paneldebatt som tok opp samme tema.
Under oppholdet sitt holdt Ottosen et foredrag med tittelen “Er Norge en krigs- eller fredsnasjon?” på Longyearbyen folkebibliotek. Foredraget som tar opp problemstillinger rundt Norges deltakelse i Nato operasjoner ble godt besøkt og kan nå sees på nett.

MEKK-member Rune Ottosen was artist in residence at Artica Svalbard during three weeks. 
In Longyearbyen Ottosen conducted research for his Svalbard related project «life underneath the radar».

Workshop with safety experts from the New York Times

The annual Conference on the Safety of Journalists starts on November 2nd (UN International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists) which is also the day before the US presidential elections. The safety of journalists in the US is under threat. Consequently, we open the conference with a workshop with safety experts from the New York Times:

“The Blended Threat Model: Our adversaries don’t distinguish between digital and physical threats, why should we?” with Neena Kapur – Security Intelligence Manager in NYT & Donna Carrera, Threat Analyst in NYT. 

Abstract: Modern day threats against journalists span across digital and physical realms, and are conducted by actors with varying levels of resources and capabilities. In this presentation, members of The New York Times information security and physical security teams will discuss a blended threat model for comprehensively tracking and building up strong security measures in this evolving threat landscape. They’ll provide an overview of proactive protective approaches their teams have taken, and trends they are seeing in threats against journalists. 

More programme will be posted very soon. The conference will take place on digital platform November 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Please register for the Sixth Annual Conferene on the Safety of Journalists here

The Global Research Hub for Risk Journalism


MEKK-member Dr. PhD Maria Konow-Lund is amongst the initiators and part of the steering group Global Risk Journalism Hub. The research group was established during Covid-19 lock-down in spring 2020 and has already brought together leading scholars from all parts of the world to investigative how journalists across all societies cover the crisis in their day-to-day practices. As of September 2020 the research group has about 60 members from nearly all over the globe, and has teamed up with several major media organizations. The aim of the research group is to use Covid-19 as a case in order to better understand how journalists adjust to future global crises, and how their practices and mindsets alter.

New book out: Journalist Safety & Self-Censorship

Journalists Safety and self-censorship explores the safety of journalists and self-censorship practices around the world, including local case studies and regional and international perspectives.

Bringing together scholars and practitioners from around the globe, Journalist Safety and Self-Censorship provides new and updated insights into patterns of self-censorship and free speech, focusing on a variety of factors that affect these issues, including surveillance, legislation, threats, violent conflict, gender-related stereotypes, digitisation and social media. The contributions examine topics such as trauma, risk and self-censorship among journalists in different regions of the world, including contributions exploring issues of self-censorship in Central America, Estonia, Turkey, Uganda and Pakistan. The book also provides conceptual clarity to the notion of journalist self-censorship, and explores the question of how self-censorship may be studied empirically.

Combining both theoretical and practical knowledge, this collection serves as a much-needed resource for any academic, student of journalism, practicing journalist, or NGO working on issues of journalism, safety, free speech and censorship.

This book comes out of the 4th Annual Conference on the Safety of Journalists in 2018 where “The chilling effect” was discussed by scholars and journalists from around the world. In the Call for Papers for the 2018 conference we asked: How can you talk about self-censorship? How can you know that self-censorship exists? What can make journalists better equipped to secure themselves without having to tie themselves up and jeopardize freedom of speech? What role do state authorities or journalist associations play here?

In the book Journalist Safety & Self-Censorship you can read contributions from José Luis Benítez Journalism and self-censorship in the insecure democracies of Central America, Sadia Jamil Red lines of journalism: Digital surveillance, safety risks and journalists’ self-censorship in Pakistan, Nhamo Anthony Mhiripiri Chilling or cosy effects? Zimbabwean journalists’ experiences and the struggle for definition of self-censorship, Aytekin Kaan Kurtul Lèse-majesté and journalism in Turkey and Europe, Olunifesi Adekunle Suraj Online surveillance and the repressive Press Council Bill: A two-pronged approach to media self-censorship in Nigeria, Marte Høiby The “tripple” effect silencing female journalists online: A theoretical exploration, Signe Ivask A way to silence journalists? Estonian female journalists’ experiences with harassment and self-censorship, Aisha SembatyaNakiwala Perceptions of risks and the negotiation of safety among Ugandan female journalists covering political demonstrations, Michelle Betz & Paul Beighley Fear, trauma and local journalists: Implications for media development and peacebuilding, Florence Namasinga Selnes Safety and self-censorship: Examining the linkage to social media use among Ugandan journalists, Gerald Walulya Defending the watchdog: How local NGOs build journalists’ resilience by combating threats to their safety and security & Ingrid Fadnes, Roy Krøvel & Anna Grøndahl Larsen (Ed) Introduction: Safety for journalists and self-censorship & Conclusion: Researching self-censorship caused by inadequate safety of journalists. Causes, solutions and future research















from Ingrid Fadnes, Roy Krøvel & Anna Grøndahl Larsen

World Press Freedom Day 2020

Photo: Heriberto Paredes
Mexican Journalists gather to show their resistance agains the impunity for crimes agains journalists after the killing of the mexican photographer Rubén Manuel Espinosa Becerril (2015). Photo: Heriberto Paredes

World Press Freedom Day 2020

The Institute for Journalism and Media studies and the research group MEKK at OsloMet had planned our yearly activities in relation to the World Press Freedom Day. However, as COVID19 is preventing all physical meetings and events, we would like to share some important news and initiatives to mark this important day.

May 3 was in 1993 declared by The United Nations General Assembly to be World Press Freedom Day or just World Press Day, observed to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

From UNESCO.org:

As part of the 2020 celebration of World Press Freedom Day, UNESCO is releasing a preview of a forthcoming study on media independence.

#PressFreedom: Journalists struggle to work free from fear or favour, new UNESCO study says

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the importance of free and independent media in reporting verified information to the public and in holding public authorities to account.

Yet, as the preview of a new UNESCO study assesses, in recent years the news media have faced increased challenges to editorial independence. This is especially through ‘media capture’ in which media are skewed by private and state groups that abuse systems of regulation, ownership, advertising and finance.

The resulting damage to the integrity of editorial independence has compromised the ability of many media workers to provide the public with vital information.

The culmination of these and other controls means that journalists seeking to follow professional standards have to stave off pressures and attacks from external actors as well navigate power in their own outlets

While the study shows how threats to professional independence have intensified, it also highlights the multiple efforts and initiatives that have proven successful in safeguarding independent journalism, and provides recommendations for all stakeholder groups.

It underlines the importance of journalists standing up for professional standards, particularly in the context of disinformation.

The full study, titled Reporting Facts: Free from Fear or Favour, will be published later this year as an In Focus edition of the series World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development.

From Reporters without Borders (RSF):

In the run-up to World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is publishing exclusive interviews by Philippine journalist Maria Ressa with Washington Post columnist Rana Ayyub, whistleblower Edward Snowden, Nobel economy laureate Joseph Stiglitz and RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire on the subject of “Journalism in crisis: a decisive decade.”

See all the interviews here

Online discussion

on Press Freedom and Tackling Disinformation in the COVID-19 context (May 4)

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, celebrated every year on 3 May, UNESCO and its Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, will host an online discussion on the importance of free media in providing the public with reliable independent information, vital in times of crisis. The High-level Dialogue on Press Freedom and Tackling Disinformation in the COVID-19 context, will be streamed online on Monday 4 May, 5pm Central European Time (GMT +2).

UNESCO’s flagship event of World Press Freedom Day will bring together UN Secretary-General António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, journalist Younes Mujahid, President of the International Federation of Journalists, Maria Ressa, investigative journalist from the Philippines, founder of the Rappler news website, and the Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders, Christophe Deloire, alongside a number of other high level participants. Prominent Mexican-born American journalist Jorge Ramos will moderate the debate.

Prize to Colombian journalist

The MEKK research group would like to congratulate the Colombian investigative journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima who has been named as the laureate of the 2020 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize on the recommendation of an independent international jury of media professionals.

Jineth Bedoya Lima’s reporting has focused on the armed conflict and peace process in Colombia and on sexual violence against women. Ms Bedoya Lima was herself a victim of sexual violence in 2000 when she was abducted and raped in connection with an investigation into arms trafficking she was conducting for daily newspaper El Espectador. Three years later, while working for the daily El Tiempo, she was kidnapped by militants of the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

“The courage and commitment of Jineth Bedoya Lima, doubly exposed to unacceptable risks as a woman and as a journalist, inspire profound respect,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “We need the work of professional and independent journalists.”

Call for papers: Safety of journalists – Risks, Resistance, Resilience

Call for Papers

The 6th international conference on the

Safety of journalists – Risks, Resistance, Resilience

OsloMet, Norway

The conference will take place on digital platforms and in Oslo (if possible) on November 2, 3 and 4th 2020 in connection with UNESCO’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists at OsloMet University and The Freedom of Speech Foundation (Fritt Ord), Norway.

Attacks on journalists is a growing problem globally and threats and violence against journalists affect freedom of expression and the public sphere in many ways.  For the sixth consecutive year, the research group MEKK at OsloMet University organizes an international conference to address the safety of journalists.

This year’s conference will focus on examples of “resistance” and “resilience”, in addition to risks related to certain topics and/or working in specific geographical, social or/and political contexts. “Resistance” could mean both fighting back as well as the refusal to accept or comply with something and/or the ability not to be affected by something. The concept may also be linked to organizations in resistance. In terms of the concept of resilience, it is often assumed that a person with good resilience has the ability to bounce back more quickly and with less stress than someone whose resilience is less developed. Greater resilience is often associated with the ability to self-organise, and with social learning as part of a process of adaptation and transformation. Looking at risk, resistance and resilience opens up for discussions from different angels and concrete experiences.

The aim of the conference is to increase the knowledge about measures that can improve the situation for journalists and journalism, whether it is what the individual journalist can do to protect herself, alone or in groups, and collective and structural measures to protect journalists and put an end to impunity. Perhaps a combination of resistance and resilience can be the way forward? Perhaps a better understanding of risks helps making it possible to build collective resilience? We believe this focus can lead to useful learning across borders and contexts. Case studies of resistance and/or resilience are welcome. Furthermore, we open for deliberations of more general safety issues for journalists by inviting papers discussing topics such as (but not limited to):


  • Collective action to enhance the safety of journalists
  • Cross border initiatives to improve safety
  • Self-education and organisation as means to make journalism safer
  • The role of the UN and UNESCO in protecting journalists
  • Safety training for journalists and the role of safety trainers/organizations
  • Fake news and disinformation as a threat against journalism
  • Media ownership and safety of journalists


For the last five years a large number of scholars and journalists have participated at the annual safety conferences at OsloMet in Norway. The conferences have been organised as a mixture of key note speakers, working groups, panels and paper presentations. As we are now facing a global pandemic crisis where travelling and gathering is difficult, and may be so for quite some time still, we have started to think of some possible alternative scenarios and solutions for the 2020 conference. We will think of possible virtual solutions for paper presentations and key notes.


Papers can be submitted using this form: https://nettskjema.no/a/safety2020

Please include an abstract/description (max 250 words), short bio, and a profile picture.

The deadline is August 17, 2020.

There is no registration fee.

The best papers will be considered for a forthcoming peer reviewed publication.

If you have any questions about the conference, please do not hesitate to contact: safetyofjournalists@oslomet.no