Safety of journalists – Risks, Resistance, Resilience, 2020

Call for Papers

The 6th international conference on the

Safety of journalists – Risks, Resistance, Resilience

OsloMet, Norway

The conference will take place in Oslo on November 2, 3 and 4th 2020 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.

Attacks on journalists is a growing problem globally and threats and violence against journalists affect freedom of expression and the public sphere in many ways.  For the sixth consecutive year, the research group MEKK at OsloMet University organizes an international conference to address the safety of journalists.

This year’s conference will focus on examples of “resistance” and “resilience”, in addition to risks related to certain topics and/or working in specific geographical, social or/and political contexts. “Resistance” could mean both fighting back as well as the refusal to accept or comply with something and/or the ability not to be affected by something. The concept may also be linked to organizations in resistance. In terms of the concept of resilience, it is often assumed that a person with good resilience has the ability to bounce back more quickly and with less stress than someone whose resilience is less developed. Greater resilience is often associated with the ability to self-organise, and with social learning as part of a process of adaptation and transformation. Looking at risk, resistance and resilience opens up for discussions from different angels and concrete experiences.

The aim of the conference is to increase the knowledge about measures that can improve the situation for journalists and journalism, whether it is what the individual journalist can do to protect herself, alone or in groups, and collective and structural measures to protect journalists and put an end to impunity. Perhaps a combination of resistance and resilience can be the way forward? Perhaps a better understanding of risks helps making it possible to build collective resilience? We believe this focus can lead to useful learning across borders and contexts. Case studies of resistance and/or resilience are welcome. Furthermore, we open for deliberations of more general safety issues for journalists by inviting papers discussing topics such as (but not limited to):


  • Collective action to enhance the safety of journalists
  • Cross border initiatives to improve safety
  • Self-education and organisation as means to make journalism safer
  • The role of the UN and UNESCO in protecting journalists
  • Safety training for journalists and the role of safety trainers/organizations
  • Fake news and disinformation as a threat against journalism
  • Media ownership and safety of journalists


For the last five years a large number of scholars and journalists have participated at the annual safety conferences at OsloMet in Norway. The conferences have been organised as a mixture of key note speakers, working groups, panels and paper presentations. As we are now facing a global pandemic crisis where travelling and gathering is difficult, and may be so for quite some time still, we have started to think of some possible alternative scenarios and solutions for the 2020 conference. We will think of possible virtual solutions for paper presentations and key notes.

As before, we prioritize scholarships for researchers coming from outside Europe and North America. This year we also include a scholarship that can contribute to the making of a virtual presentation. This scholarship is meant as a grant that can contribute to the production of such a presentation.

We encourage researchers to partner with journalists or media projects to make virtual presentations, documentaries, journalism, storytelling etc. on “resistance”, “resilience” and the risks journalists are facing. In addition to the ordinary research papers we therefore include a call for virtual presentations (could be a movie, animation, etc.), where you are asked to describe the project, collaboration, case and planned result.

To send a proposal for a regular paper or a virtual presentation you can use this form:

Please include an abstract/description (max 250 words), short bio, and a profile picture.

The deadline is August 17, 2020.

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.

If you have any questions about the call for papers and virtual presentations, please do not hesitate to contact: