Photo: Mattias Müller, OsloMet

Subject to revision, we are happy to present the program for the 2023 Safety of Journalists Conference, “A Call to Action: Advancing Safety in Environmental Journalism for a Better Future.”

Paper presentations will occur in the afternoons of both days, along two tracks (A. and B.). All paper session allocations are subject to revision. Note that nation states refer to geopolitical areas of study, not researcher background. * Indicates a remote presentation.

Day 1:


A. Location, Location, Location: Case and Country Studies of Physical Dangers of Climate and Disaster Reporting
Moderated by Azania Mosaka
Çoban and Ataman (Turkey) — Disaster Journalism and Safety of Journalists: Safety Issues of Reporters in Earthquake Zones in Turkey
Neelamar (India) — Challenges and Risks Faced by the Journalists in Environmental Conflict Zones With Special Reference to Sterlite Copper Plant, Tamil Nadu, India
Jamil (Pakistan) — The Perils of Environmental journalism: Safety risks faced by journalists in Pakistan
Benitez* (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador) — Challenges and risks of reporting on environmental issues in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador

B. Working Together: Collaborative Research and Trends in Climate Reporting
Moderated by Theodorah Munisi
Díaz, Iturregui, et al. (Spain) — Natural Disasters and Safety of Journalists: application of the analysis model used for journalists covering conflict zones
Gøril et al. (Nordic) — Covering climate change in the Nordics: harassment, coping strategies and journalist’s reflections
Abir (Bangladesh) — Unveiling Gender Bias in Environmental Reporting: Analyzing Media Coverage of the First Chief Heat Officer Appointment in Bangladesh
Ngangum (Cameroon)—Abduction and Assassination: The Case of Cameroonian Journalist Martinez Zogo


A. Preventative Strategies…
Moderated by Caroline Malewo
Balliah (S. Africa) — Killing them with kindness: A case study of South African anti-trolling mechanisms, MARS: Media Attack Reporting System and PANDA Attacks
Brenner (Norway) — Mitigating risks: A first concept for an automatic early-warning system for at-risk journalists

…and Reparative Responses.
Wheatley (Ireland) — Journalists’ use of filtering practices to manage negative interactions online: ‘I try not to block people, but…’
de Luis Andres (Colombia and Austria) — Environmental Book Clubs in Journalism Culture
Hiltunen (Finland) — Methodological Reflections on a Diary-Interview Study on Harassment of Journalists

B. The Role of the Rememberer: Journalism and trauma
Moderated by Theodora Theodory Uisso
Mosaka (S. Africa) — How editors manage journalism related trauma in South African newsrooms
Idås and Backholm — Anniversary reactions among journalists covering terror: investigating reactivation of stress reactions 10 years after a critical incident
Bhuju* (Nepal) — Behind the Bylines: Psychological Resilience in Nepal’s Disaster Journalism
Gentz* (USA) — Mental health symptomology in environmental journalists

Day 2:


A. Professionalisation as Protection? Media Organisations’ Obligations and Efforts to Protect Journalists
Moderated by Nelson Bahati
Kabazira (Uganda) — Ugandan radio managers’ efforts to ensure journalist financial stability
Kidanu (Ethiopia) — Journalists’ safety in Ethiopia: An inquiry of influences, coping mechanisms, and the role of professional associations
Ajayi (Nigeria)* — Examination of Media Organisation’s Efforts in Protecting Environmental Journalists
Gebeyehu* (Ethiopia) — A reflection on the role of the media in protecting journalists’ safety during environmental issues reporting, in the case of FBC

B. “Tell all the truth but tell it slant.” Disinformation and Bias.
Moderated by Roxane Volclair
Yarova (Ukraine) — Climate narrative as Disinformation Strategy; Dedicated to slain Ukrainian environmental journalist Roman Ratushny
Abir and Jamil (Bangladesh) — Flooded and Forgotten:  A Case Study on Framing of Environmental Journalism in Bangladesh
Nikezis (Greece)—Challenges and risks of reporting on environmental issues: Climate Reporting and the Battle Against Disinformation

14:30-15:30 (three tracks: A., B., C.)

A.Proxy Server: Digital Security Mediated by Cultural Forces
Moderated by Svea Vikander
Urbanikova (Estonia, Finland, Czech Republic) — Safety and Security: Perceptions and Practices of Investigative Journalists: A Comparative Study from Finland, Estonia, and the Czech Republic
Nevradakis (Greece) — From Polk to Predator Revisited: Has Anything Changed with Regard to Journalist Safety in Greece?
Kasyanenko* (Ukraine) — The war without the rules. History of Ukrainian journalist imprisonment, namely Zaporizhia ‘Dozory’ editor Iryna Dubchenko.

B. Self improvement or self protection? Studies of Journalist Education and Extra-Professional Skills
Moderator TBD
Katubayemwo (Tanzania) — An Exploration of the Coverage of Journalists’ Safety and Security in Journalism Education and Training in Tanzania
Jamil and Çoban (Global South) — Safety Issues of Journalists in Global South and its Relationship to Sustainable Development Goals
Abudheir and Bowe (Palestine)* — The Impact of Conflicts on Media Students’ Concerns in Climate and Environmental Issues: A Study of the Palestinian Case
Zaheer* (Pakistan) — Environmental Journalism in Pakistan: Reporting Natural Calamities Amid Risks and Challenges

C. Journalist Safety Research: INTPART Doctoral Student Proposals
Moderated by Svea Vikander
Proposals from the INTPART Safety of Journalists research program, a doctoral course led by practitioners and researchers from Brazil, the United States, Norway, and South Africa.
Amado and Hill: Proposal — Tracking reports in the Observatory of killed journalists
Hansen, Matsilele, and Phillips — Matching Digital Risk for Journalists and Cybersecurity
van Niekerk, Teixeira de Paula, and Tilbury — Environmental Issues in China – Safety Concerns for Journalists Covering the 2021 Chinese Floods
Verma and Vieira de Alcântara — Media Environments, Violence, and Journalists: A scoping review of perspectives of Brazil, India, and the United States

Every year in the first week of November, in relation to UN’s international day to end impunity for crimes against journalists,

MEKK organizes an international conference on the safety of journalists in cooperation with UNESCO Norway and The Freedom of Speech Institution.

The annual MEKK conferences have become an important meeting place for professionals and organizations in the field of journalist safety. We have excellent experiences from bringing together practicing journalists, educators, and researchers at these conferences.

Each conference has resulted in a peer- reviewed publication, either an anthology or a special issue in an international journal.

Upcoming conference:

9th annual conference on the safety of journalists: A Call to Action: Advancing Safety in Environmental Journalism for a Better Future, Oslo 1–2, November 2023.

More about the conference and call for papers here

Former conferences:

  • Solidarity and self-learning for improved safety for journalists. OsloMet, November 2022
  • Safety of Journalists in the times of Infodemics, November 2021
  • Risk, Resilience and Resistance in the Safety of journalists, November  2020 
  • Safety of Journalists – Digital Safety, November 2019 
  • Safety of Journalists, the chilling effects, November 2018
  • Safety of journalists covering conflict and sensitive issues, November, 2017.
  • Best practices in teaching conflict, war and peace journalism, HIOA, November, 2016
  • The Growth of transnational extremism – and journalistic challenges. HIOA, March 2016.
  • The launch  of UNESCO’s “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development: Special Digital Focus”, HIOA, February 2016
  • Global Journalism and Education, October 2015
  • Gender, War and Conflict reporting HIOA, 2015

MEKK also participated at the launch of  «Partnership to advance safety of journalists» initiated by UNESCO and NORCAP. Read more here.

Book of Abstracts 2019 Conference
Full Programme
Keynote speakers at the conference on the Safety of Journalists, 2019
Paper Sessions
Presentation of participants
Full programme
Overview of participants
Presentations of speakers and contributors
Abstracts from paper sessions
Full programme
Presentations of participants