Ahead of World Press Freedom Day 2022, PMA’s next virtual roundtable will discuss the challenge of online safety for journalists and news organisations.

In the second of PMA’s new and exclusive series of virtual roundtable forums, PMA offers members a dedicated safe space to discuss common challenges and possible solutions relating to their experiences of online abuse, threats, and digital security.

The first half of the event will be a recorded panel discussion between PMA’s Advocacy Coordinator, Desilon Daniels; ABC’s Social Media Wellbeing Advisor, Nicolle White; CBC/Radio-Canada’s Sr. Director, Security & Resiliency, Joe Hill; and CPJ’s Emergencies Director, Lucy Westcott, which will be used as part of PMA’s new podcast series.

The second half will be a closed session for PMA members to ask questions and discuss their digital safety challenges, solutions and innovations among themselves.

Registration details and more information on this special event can be found below.

Please register by Friday 8 April

Monday 11 April 2022, 09:00 EST (EST), 14:00 GMT (UK time)

Via Zoom. 

Please note that the first half of the roundtable session will be a panel discussion which will be recorded for a special World Press Freedom Day episode of PMA’s podcast ‘Media: Uncovered’. A summary of the main discussion points from the first half will be made available shortly after the roundtable forum. The second half will NOT be recorded; it will be a dedicated, safe, and open space for PMA members to ask panellists and each other questions or raise comments and thoughts related to online abuse, safety and security.

Zoom link upon registration.

While the growth in digital technology has brought many benefits for journalists, news organisations and their audiences, it has also opened new spaces that have become a breeding ground for hate speech and disinformation. Moreover, it has also exposed new avenues for attacks and harassment on journalists for simply doing their jobs.

With the greater proximity of users in the online space, journalists worldwide have become highly vulnerable to online abuse and threats to their digital safety; many receive death threats. This is particularly the case for female journalistsjournalists of colour, and LGBTQ+ journalists.

The gravity of this issue is also being recognised as the theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day 2022 on 3 May (“Journalism under Digital Siege”).

Many public interest media organisations are developing – or have developed – strategies or best practice guidelines to protect journalists from online abuse and harassment. Some newsrooms have taken the approach to ban comments on their social media newsfeeds. The Brussels Declaration was an international statement published last year with more than 45 signatories from public media and media advocacy organisations calling for journalist safety against both physical and digital abuse. We will use this roundtable to explore such solutions and more.

All PMA members are welcome to join the discussion.

During the first half of the roundtable, participants will hear from three different approaches to addressing online abuse against journalists. Panellists include: Nicolle White, Social Media Wellbeing Advisor at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), who will discuss what her unique role entails and how she deals with online abuse facing media workers; Joe Hill  Sr. Director, Security & Resiliency at CBC/Radio-Canada, who will discuss the wider efforts the organisation has been deploying to protect their journalists, including the #NotOk campaign launched last year, and Lucy Westcott, the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) Emergencies Director, who will cover the support and resources that CPJ offers independent and freelance journalists while working in the field, including digital security advisories in more hostile environments.

In the second half of the session, we will encourage all roundtable participants to engage in sharing their concerns, ideas, or solutions to tackling this type of abuse. What are the key online safety issues affecting journalists in the digital era? Are there any approaches that your organisation is taking to address or protect journalists against online abuse?

Register your interest in PSM Unpacked:

“Digital safety”
Places are limited: If you’d like to participate in this forum, please indicate your interest by Friday 8 April.

Please email to register your interest or ask any questions.

Header Image: Family and friends happy moments in video conference at home. Credit: FG Trade/iStock