Safety of Journalists Covering Conflict and Sensitive Issues -conference, 2017

An attack on a journalist is an attack on the freedom of expression. Silencing journalists happen 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.

Underlying relations, which may influence both the safety of journalists and their sources, for instance covering sensitive issues such as corruption, human rights, flight and migration are also of central importance to the broader picture. Combining practical experiences and academic research on safety can increase the understanding of the complex issue of safety of journalists.

The research group Media, War and Conflict at Oslo and Akershus University College, Oslo, Norway invites practitioners and researchers from different parts of the world with interest in and knowledge about threats and violence against journalists to participate.

The aim of the conference is to provide practical and theoretical perspectives on safety of journalists in conflict and challenging situations. Both mechanisms creating unsafe conditions, and possible strategies and solutions to will be discussed.

We invite papers with practical, theoretical, national or international perspectives that critically examine challenges related to the issue of safety of journalists, including, but not limited to issues such as

  • Education and training
  • Legal issues and policy making
  • Culture and gender
  • 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 take place in Oslo on 2 and 3 of November 2017 in connection with UNESCO’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

Speakers will be:

  • Professor Jackie Harrison, Chair of the Centre for Freedom of the Media, University of Sheffield
  • Álvaro Sierra Restrepo, journalist, trainer and editor, Colombia
  • Abeer Saady, Independent Media Consultant in the Middle East, journalist and educator
  • Victoria Fontan, Center Manager, Collaboration Center for Quality Learning in Humanitarian Action, Bioforce Institute in Lyon, France                                  

Abstracts of maximum 250 words should be sent to  before August, the 10th, 2017. Please include your full name, institutional affiliation, and email.There is no registration fee. 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.

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