Home » Articles posted by fadnes

Author Archives: fadnes

Call for abstracts: 5th annual conference on the Safety of Journalists – Digital Safety

Call for abstracts – Research Group MEKK’s 5th annual conference on the Safety of Journalists – Digital Safety

Oslo November 6, 7 and 8th 2019

The conference will take place in Oslo on November 6, 7 and 8th 2019 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.

The conference is organized jointly with the The Fritt Ord Foundation and with support from The National Commission for UNESCO and Digital Journalism Research Group.

Safety for journalists, including digital safety, is a matter of public concern that is wide-ranging. It is vital for those who practice journalism, for their families and for their sources. It  is  essential  for  the  wellbeing  of  media  institutions,  civil  society,  academia  and  the  private sector more broadly. If we value the free flow of information for citizens, their governments and their international organisations, then the safety of journalists is central (Getachew Engida, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO).

Electronic  communications  of  news  media,  critical  bloggers,  and  other  individuals  or  organizations  disseminating  information  have  become  targets.  The danger emanates from various sources ranging from State-based actors to third parties. There is digital surveillance  that  goes  beyond  international  standards  on  privacy  and  freedom  of  expression. There is hacking of data and disruptive attacks on websites and computer systems. More extremely, some media actors are being killed for their online journalism. From 2011-2013, 37 of the 276 killings of journalists condemned by the UNESCO Director General were killings of journalists whose primary platforms were Internet-based. Many, if not most, of the other journalists who were killed also used digital tools in their daily work, which may have exposed them in various ways. (Jennifer R. Henrichsen et.al. Building digital safety for journalism: a survey of selected issues. 2015).

Journalists need to know more about the dangers of digital attacks such as hacking and surveillance, and should take steps to protect themselves, their sources, and their work. Journalism researchers and educators need to know more about how the dangers to digital safety work in relation to journalists’ security and freedom of expression in general.

The 2019 annual conference on the Safety of Journalists will focus on digital safety but also invite papers discussing other aspects related to the safety of journalists. We invite paper presentations discussing topics such as (but not limited to)[i]:

  • Surveillance and mass surveillance
  • Software and hardware exploits without the knowledge of the target
  • Phishing, fake domain, Denial of Service and Man-in-the-Middle attacks
  • Intimidation, harassment and forced exposure of online networks
  • Disinformation and smear campaigns
  • Confiscation of journalistic work product
  • Data storage and mining
  • Education and training
  • Legal issues and policy making
  • Culture and gender issues
  • Working conditions and media production
  • Source protection and the digital era
  • Hate speech, defamation and libel
  • Impunity
  • Journalist roles and fixers
  • NGOs and the safety of journalists

The conference will be organised as a mixture of key note speakers, working groups, panels and paper presentations.

Paper presentations:

If you want to participate with a paper, an abstract of maximum 500 words and a short bio focusing on possible earlier experience with research/practice in the field of safety of journalists/digital safety should be sent to safetyofjournalists@oslomet.no before August 15, 2019. Please include your full name, institutional affiliation, and email. There is no registration fee and the participants are expected to cover their own costs for travel and accommodation.

A limited number of scholarships to cover flight and/or accommodation is available for Ph.D. students and researchers from low-income countries. Applications for scholarships should be submitted with the abstract together with a short CV.

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


[i] See Henrichsen, Jennifer R., Betz, Michelle, Lisosky, Joanne M. Building digital safety for journalism: a survey of selected issues. UNESCO 2015 for a more detailed list of digital challenges.

World Press Freedom Day & the Academic Conference

For UNESCO’s celebration of at the Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, OsloMet and MEKK were proud hosts of the Academic Conference on Safety of Journalists together with University of Makerere.
The Academic Conference was organised in cooperation with UNESCO and the Universities of Sheffield and Malaga.
Professor Kristin Skare Orgeret and Dr William Tayeebwa opened the conference.


Panel from left to right: Arne Jensen, President of Norwegian Editors Union; Per Elvestuen, Director of Oslo Freedom Forum and cartoonist; Elin Floberghagen, Norwegian Press Association; and Sidsel Avlund, from the Norwegian Public Broadcasting, responsible for journalist safety.

Today 3rd of May, on the World Press Freedom Day, the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at OsloMet held a seminar discussing the freedom of speech in both a Norwegian and an international context. Professor Rune Ottosen presented the situation for journalists on an international level with increased violence, murder and harassment against journalist.

The Norwegian context was discussed through a panel debate with the participation of Arne Jensen, President of Norwegian Editors Union; Per Elvestuen, Director of Oslo Freedom Forum and cartoonist; Elin Floberghagen, Norwegian Press Association; and Sidsel Avlund, from the Norwegian Public Broadcasting. Even though Norway rank high on the World Press Freedom Index, the whole panel agreed upon that also in Norway we now face increasing threats against journalists. Avlund highlighted the situation in the Norwegian Public Broadcasting, NRK, where as much as 29% of the employees have experienced harassment. However, as Avlund stated: what worries us the most, is that the journalists keep silent.

Not reporting on the problems, keeping information to themselves, is a huge challenge if we want to stop censorship and self-censorship.



World Press Freedom Day 2019

The main celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2019 will take place in Addis Ababa, from 1 to 3 May 2019. The event will provide a platform for multiple actors to exchange on current issues, threats and achievements concerning freedom of the press.

The overall theme of the event will be the role of media in elections and democracy. A wide range of sessions (plenaries, debates, lightning talks, etc.) will address different aspects of the overall theme.

Some 100 national events around the world are expected to complement the main celebration.

MEKK is represented with professor Kristin Orgeret Skare and PhD fellow Marte Høiby.

Orgeret will open the Academic Conference on the Safety of Journalists on Wednesday.

Full program:


Seminar på pressefrihetens dag

SKUP – Investigative Journalism

The Norwegian Foundation for a Free and Investigative Press (SKUP, Stiftelsen for en Kritisk og Undersøkende Presse) held its yearly conference this week-end (29.03-31.03). SKUP is an association established in 1990, dedicated to promoting investigative journalism in Norway. SKUP organizes an annual weekend conference for investigative reporters and editors in Norway.

International participants from the master course Global Journalism: Conflict, Safety and Peace at OsloMet participated at this years conference. The participant are from Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Nepal, Zimbabwe and Uganda, and several of them are TV and radio reporters.

The SKUP-conference is held every year and invite both investigative press from Norway and abroad. The focus of the conference is on how to share work, methods and ideas on investigative journalism.




Vol. 18 / No. 1 of conflict & communication online

Vol. 18 / No. 1 of conflict & communication online has appeared and can be downloaded from the internet: http://www.cco.regener-online.de/

Foto: Heriberto Paredes “Stop the killing of Journalist” from a protest in Mexico City
The articles presented in this issue of Conflict & Communication Online, were selected from papers written for the annual Safety of Journalists conference organized by the Media, War and Conflict research group (MEKK) at OsloMetropolitan University. The guest editors are professor Kristin Skare Orgeret & professor Roy Krøvel, current coordinators of the MEKK-research group at OsloMet. 

The annual conference on the Safety of Journalists was set up to support research on the safety of journalists, in line with recommendations of UNESCO’s Research Agenda on the Safety of Journalists. Besides furthering new knowledge on safety issues, it also seeks ways to construct a network of researchers able to produce knowledge vital to improving safety of journalists internationally.

In our call for contributions to the 2017 conference, we wrote: An attack on a journalist is an attack on the freedom of expression. Silencing journalists happens through a variety of actions ranging from threats such as bullying and online harassment, restrictive policies and random detention, to the decisive act of censorship– death. Knowledge about journalists’ working conditions is important to improve the training of new journalists. We wanted to discuss both the processes leading to unsafe conditions and possible strategies and solutions andasked for papers with practical, theoretical, national or international perspectives that critically examine challenges related to the issue of safety of journalists.

The chapters of the special issue are written by the following authors:

1. Introduction: Introduction: Where are we now? – (Almost) a decade with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity by Ingrid Fadnes, Roy Krøvel & Kristin Skare Orgeret

2. Getting from the global to the local: Norms and systems for protecting journalists in the times of the sustainable development goals by Guy Berger

3. Afghan journalists in a balancing act: Coping with deteriorating safety by Elisabeth Eide, Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar & Hasina Shirzad

4. Safety culture changing visual representations of wars? The case of Afghanistan by Saumava Mitra

5. Fixers in corporate media: Pashtun journalists under threat in North Western Pakistan by Altaf Khan

6. Digital security awareness and practices of journalists in Turkey: A descriptive study by Behlül Çalışkan

7. When online commentary turns into violence: The role of Twitter in slander against journalists in Colombia by Marta Milena Barrios, Lina María Vega-Estarita & Luis M. Gil

Global Journalism: Conflict, Safety and Peace

The Master course Global Journalism: Conflict, Safety and Peace started out on Monday 25th. The course is a part of the Master in Journalism at the OsloMet. During this week and the second week of April there will be daily lectures at the OsloMet. This year students from 11 countries have signed up for the course.

Participants from Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Uganda, Marocco, Indonesia & Russia.

The course aims at developing advanced competence when it comes to critical research traditions related to post-colonial studies, for example Orientalism and Occidentalism critique, theories of nation and identities, migrancy and transnationalism. Students will also acquire competence in analyzing the links between globalization processes and ethnical dimensions within and between nations and regions. The role of safety for journalists covering war and conflicts is central to the course.


Professor Rune Ottosen lecturing on War and Peace journalism

To tell the truth, but not all of it

Monday 18th of March the 3rd Making Transparency Possible conference – Interdisciplinary dialogues was held at the OsloMet. The conference gather academics, investigative journalists, Tax Directors and others to a dialog of how to make transparency possible.

Anya Schiffrin on “Investigative journalism in the extractive industries
To tell the truth, and nothing but the truth – but not the whole truth, Joseph Stiglitz

The main focus for this year’s conference was:

“Financial Secrecy and the impact of investigative journalism and cross-border collaboration on the public understanding of illicit financial flows.”

One of the key speakers, Joseph Stiglitz from University Professor at Columbia University and winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, said in his key note named Secrecy, Transparency and Globalization that transparency is avoided because companies can get away with telling only one part of the truth: «To tell the truth and nothing but the truth, but not the whole truth». Tax evasion depends upon secrecy, but according to Stiglitz, solving the problem is as easy as making it. Tax havens is a construction and can be deconstructed.


What is the impact of investigative journalism on the public undestanding of illicit financial flows? Introduction and moderation by MEKK-member Kristin Orgeret. Daniela Quirós Lépiz, Burkina Faso/Costa Rica, Mwanyengwa Ndapewoshali Shapwanale, Angola/Namibia and Craig McKune, South Africa.


“What needs to be done to make transparency possible?” Introduction and moderation by Mona Thowsen. Trond Eirik Schea, Director of the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim), Hans-Christian Holte, Tax Director at the Directorate of Taxes (Skattedirektoratet), Idar Kreutzer, Director of Finance Norway (Finans Norge) and Jon Lomøy, Director at the Norwegian Organisation for International Development (Norad).


Frian Aarsnes, “What needs to be done to make transparency possible? Forensic auditing and investigative journalism”.


Book launch: Making Transparency Possible: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue

Making Transparency Possible: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue

The anthology Making Transparancy Possible: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue is now possible to download: https://press.nordicopenaccess.no/index.php/noasp/catalog/book/64

This book will be of interest to anyone concerned about illicit financial flows, but especially to journalists, journalism students and journalism instructors seeking an understanding of what it takes to reveal the mechanisms behind illicit, global flows of wealth.

Volume editor:
Roy Krøvel, Mona Thowsen
Chapter authors:
Frian Aarsnes, Mahima Achuthan, Kristine Aghalaryan, William Bourdon, Behlül Çalışkan, Lina Chawaf, Antoine Deltour, Elisabeth Eide, Ingrid Fadnes, Raphaël Halet, Birgitte Kjos Fonn, Johannes Kr. Kristjansson, Amélie Lefebvre, Simona Levi, Craig McKune, Karl Ove Moene, Ryan Powell, Jenik Radon, Nandini Ravichandran, Anya Schiffrin, Tina Søreide, Petter Slaatrem Titland, Rodrigo Véliz Estrada


Each year local and national economies throughout the world lose billions of dollars through so-called illicit financial flows. Conservative estimates indicate that over a billion dollars are diverted illegitimately out of countries in the Southern Hemisphere every year. This diversion of revenue reinforces poverty while facilitating the concentration of authority in the hands a select few through corruption and abuse of power. The authors’ objective with this book is to increase transparency in finance and global financial transactions.

Understanding the phenomenon of illicit financial flows requires input from several disciplines including law, finance and economics, and much of what is known about illicit financial flows is thanks to whistleblowers and investigative journalists. This anthology highlights journalism about illicit, global financial activity from an interdisciplinary perspective. In conveying the experiences of whistleblowers and investigative journalists who have been involved with the Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, Lux Leaks and Swiss Leaks, the contributing authors underscore the need for journalism students to also learn the basics of economics, finance and law if they are to be able to carry out investigative projects in an increasingly more globalized economy.

In the first part of the book, investigative journalists describe their work to expose corruption and capital flight, and whistleblowers in some of the most significant cases tell their stories, while lawyers and accountants explain what needs to be done at the legislative level. In the second half of the book, analyses of revelations of corruption and illegitimate financial flows are presented. The authors explore themes including the value of investigative journalism, new journalistic methods, inadequate protections for whistleblowers and the education of investigative journalists.

This book will be of interest to anyone concerned about illicit financial flows, but especially to journalists, journalism students and journalism instructors seeking an understanding of what it takes to reveal the mechanisms behind illicit, global flows of wealth.