Global Conference World Press Freedom Day – Safety of Journalists

MEKK participates in the organisation of the academic conference on the safety of journalists as part of the World Press Freedom Day’s Global Conference in Addis Ababa 1-3 May 2019. The academic conference will allow researchers from different disciplines to share and discuss recent research on safety of journalists. This will be the fourth edition of the conference, aimed at bridging the gap between academic research, policy-making and journalism. The academic conference will take place the 1st of May and the date for  submission of abstracts (max 300 words) is extended to February 22 2019: ttps://


Empowering Journalists in the Digital Field

From May 1st, 2019 until December 31st, 2019, eight journalists from war zones and crisis areas will be invited to Berlin for a period of four months each. During their stay in Berlin they can enjoy a break and complete a comprehensive training program in digital security issues relevant to their work.

Shahidul Alam – Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

Time Magazine’s Person of the Year is  “The Guardians,” a group of journalists who have been targeted for their work in “the pursuit for greater truths”. One of them is photographer Shahidul Alam, our colleague to whom we dedicated this year’s MEKK Safety for Journalists conference in Oslo, 5th of November. Shahidul was beaten, detained by state authorities and jailed for more than 100 days for making “false” statements after criticizing Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina in an interview about student protests in Dhaka earlier this year. After being released in the end of November, Shahidul continues his pursuit for freedom of expression and civil rights. A worthy Person of the Year indeed!

“The world over, journalism is under threat. Whether you are a teacher, a dancer, a painter or a journalist, each one of us needs to be constantly fighting.” (Time, 11 December 2018).

Picture: Moises Saman, Magnum for Time.

Anna G. Larsen defended PhD thesis on “reporting extremism”

Anna M. Grøndahl Larsen, member Visit Anna M. Grøndahl Larsen at HIOA´s staff page
MEKK-member: Anna M. Grøndahl Larsen,

MEKK-member, Anna M. Grøndahl Larsen successfully defended her thesis: Reporting extremism and the threat of terrorism in the digital age: News journalism and the boundaries of inclusion and representation, on Friday the 16th of November.

Anna based her dissertation on in-depth interviews with editors and journalists in Norway and analyses of news texts published in Norwegian newspapers throughout a two-year period, supplemented with textual analyses of metadebate in news content and online comments sections regarding journalistic practices in reporting extremism.

Read the abstract: “Reporting extremism and the threat of terrorism in the digital age: News journalism and the boundaries of inclusion and representation”



Chilling facts, yet a note of optimism at MEKK conference, 2018










Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen opened the conference with a joik, a Sami way of singing which was for a long time illegal in Norway.
-The conference is the fourth of its kind, and is turning into an annual event! Ann-Helen Bay, Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences at OsloMet University











Thanks to Ingrid Fadnes (below), and heads of MEKK, professors Kristin Skare Orgeret and Roy Krøvel for ensuring that this conference took place. On the screen behind, Shahidul Alam, photojournalist imprisoned in Bangladesh.





Ingrid Fadnes thanking Ella Marie for her beautiful song.
SKUP (The Norwegian Foundation of a Critical and Investigative Press)









Marilyn Clark, professor at Department of Psychology at the University of Malta, shared some disturbing research-figures from Europe: Since 2015, 12 journalists have been killed in Europe!



-The good news, however, is that journalists are extremely resilient. And that resilience can be nurtured. One journalist said: “I learned to appreciate hate comments (…) only means that what I do is relevant.



-If you want to know how a university can make itself relevant, this conference is a good example. It is happening right here. Guy Berger, Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO, Paris.





















-Each year one journalist gets a pulitzer and one hundred get shot (…) Journalist should be rewarded, the reality is: They are being killed, Guy Berger.

Panel debate: Safety and self-censorship-practical experiences, six cases of investigative journalism: Johannes Kr. Kristjansson, Island, Jan Lukas Strozyk, Germany, Joshua Olutosin Olufemi, Nigeria, Craig McCune, South Africa, Daniela Quiros Lepiz, Burkino Faso, Costa Rica, Mwanyengwa Ndapewoshali Shapwanale, Angola/Namibia
On powerful sources: -What they do, is that they attack our credibility and falsely accuse our character. Like for instance, they will say that we were paid to write critical articles about them. The result is that people won´t believe us, and consequently what we write looses its impact (Mwanyengwa Ndapewoshali Shapwanale, Angola/Namibia)
On hate speech: -You need to be out there, expose yourself in order to reach out to your sources, but when you do, you will also attract attackers. On Facebook and on social media. People are horrible. There is no real awareness about female harassment. There is a lot of sexual harassment of female journalists, and it´s just getting worse. We need to find a way to support female colleagues. (Jan Lukas Strozyk, Germany)
Delicious dinner and great company at Skatten on Tøyen, and after dinner with Norwegian Latin American Research Network :Why are so many journalist threatened, subjected to violence and/or assassinated in Latin America today? Jose Luis Benitez, El Salvador, Marta Milena Barrios Correa, Colombia, Yennue Zarate, Mexico, Benedicte Bull, moderator
Marta Milena Barrios Correa, Universidad del Norte, Colombia speaks on self-censorship in Colombia.
More than 60 participants presented papers in the afternoons.

















































Epochal shifts in current Latin America?







A diverse and engaged audience participated at the 10th conference of the Nordic Latin American Research Network, the 25th and 26th of October at MET University in Oslo.

Some of the questions that were raised and discussed at the conference were: How are social movements and cultural expressions reacting to and interpreting the current realities in Latin America? Are there any signs of new movements and trends emerging? How does a new generation of writers, filmmakers and other artists depict the current state of art in Latin America?


Welcome to the Conference on Safety of Journalists – the chilling effects, 2018

The conference will take place in Oslo on the 5th and 6th of November 2018, in connection with UNESCO’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists at Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway.

Most abuses against media professionals remain uninvestigated and unpunished. This impunity perpetuates the cycle of violence against journalists, media workers and citizen journalists. The resulting self-censorship deprives society of information and further impacts press freedom. (UNESCO, Safety of Journalists and Impunity)[1]


Safety and Gender Equality for Women Journalists

Kristin Skare Orgeret is chief trainer of a five days intensive Training of Trainers course in Safety and Gender Equality for journalists in Tunis, Tunisia organized by IFJ and NJ. The course was in French and Arabic with enthusiastic participants from Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.

Bjørn Westlie to defend his PhD

MEKK member Bjørn Westile will defend his PhD thesis at the Department of Archeology, Conservation and History on Friday. The topic of his thesis is Norges Statsbaner (Norwegian State Railways) and the prisoners of war during World War II.

The defense will take place on Friday 28. September 2018 at 12:30 in, Gamle festsal, Domus Academica, Oslo.

The trial lecture will be given in Norwegian at the same place at 10:15. Welcome!

More information in Norwegian.

Photo: Sonja Balci, OsloMet

The Syrian war – why so silent?

Why have Norwegian media shown so little interest in the principal aspects of the Norwegian military presence in Syria? MEKK member Prof. Rune Ottosen and student Ida Bing ask the question in today’s Norwegian daily Dagsavisen, where they criticize Norwegian media for not asking more critical questions about why we lack knowledge of what the Norwegian forces have been involved in, and not least : whether this is a violation of international law.

Read the full article in Norwegian here