Safety conference 2022 call for papers

The annual MEKK Safety of Journalists Conference

will take place at OsloMet University November 1–2

Photo: Mattias Müller, OsloMet

This years topic is:

Solidarity and self-learning for improved safety for journalists

In recent years interest in issues related to journalists’ safety has increased remarkably. The topic has also received more attention in the broader public, not least due to the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to courageous journalists Maria Ressa from the Philippines and Dimitrij Muratov from Russia.

Simultaneously, statistics show how increasingly more journalists are being arrested and imprisoned internationally and both the Covid pandemic as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine have shown how press freedom is confronted and how journalists find themselves being attacked for the job they do.

One of the most dangerous things journalists can do is to cover conflict, abuse of power, and corruption in their own country.

We in the research group MEKK believe that the time has come to shed light on what journalists, newsrooms, and journalist organizations themselves do and can do to improve the safety of journalists. This is why we have chosen Solidarity and self-learning for increased safety of journalists as the theme for this year’s conference.

Following the assassination of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruna Galizia in 2017, 45 journalists from 18 news organizations participated in completing investigations that Caruna had started before she was killed. Forbidden Stories coordinated this work. Both IRE and Forbidden Stories have since grown to become important organizations that lay the foundations for both investigative journalism in general and the safety of journalists in particular. Forbidden Stories have won several awards for its work on the discovery of Pegasus spyware used to monitor journalists and human right defenders around the world.

There are an increasing number of such cooperation that have emerged between journalists and media professionals, organizations, and journalism schools internationally.

Some of these experiences are documented in various forms, but so far, few systematic studies have been made on these initiatives and projects. We find it important to undertake methodological investigations of such projects in order to know more about their content and quality and about what can work in different contexts. It is also important to lay the foundation for sharing experiences between different countries, regions, and organizations.

The purpose of the conference is to produce knowledge about measures that can improve the situation for journalists and journalism. This can be linked both to what journalists can do to protect themselves, both individually and in groups and to collective and structural measures to protect journalists and to end impunity for violence against them.

The conference is also open for papers on more general safety issues for journalists and media professionals.

We call for papers on topics such as (but not limited to)

  • Killing the journalist will not kill the story, studies on journalistic collaborations
  • The issue of safety and experiences from broad journalist cooperation projects
  • Approaching safety measures collectively
  • The safety of journalists in authoritarian “democracies”.
  • Effects of campaigns and other actions to improve the safety of journalists
  • Teaching safety in journalism education

If you want to participate with a paper, an abstract of maximum 250 words and a short bio should be uploaded to before August 15, 2022. 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 are available for Ph.D. students and researchers from low-income countries. Applications for scholarships should be submitted with the abstract and a short CV.

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

On behalf of MEKK: Professors Kristin S. Orgeret & Roy Krøvel

For any questions please contact:

Categorized as News

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