• Call for Papers: 9th Annual Conference on the Safety of Journalists

    We call on the world’s journalists to reflect on the real threat climate change poses in their reporting and to apply best practices to improve coverage on the most pressing problem of our time. The IFJ also encourages all its affiliates to include the climate issue in their agendas and to work together to launch training to help journalists to cover climate change stories in an ever more professional and effective manner.

    Anthony Bellanger, International Federation of Journalists General Secretary

    We are happy to announce that we are now accepting paper submissions to the ninth annual Conference on the Safety of Journalists. Every year in the first week of November, in relation to UN’s international day to end impunity for crimes against journalists, MEKK organizes this international conference in cooperation with UNESCO Norway and the Fritt Ord Foundation. This year the conference will be on November 1-2 2023.

    The annual MEKK conferences have become an important meeting place for professionals and organizations in the field of journalist safety. Academic partnerships including papers, workshops, and even books have come about from bringing together practicing journalists, educators and researchers at these conferences. Read more about past conferences here.

    Each conference results in a peer-reviewed publication, either an anthology or a special issue in an international journal. This year we are focusing on issues faced by climate journalists and have titled the event A Call to Action: Advancing Safety in Environmental Journalism for a Better Future.

    We hope you will join us.

    Call for Papers

    Environmental journalists face unique challenges when it comes to their safety, including threats from powerful industries and governments, exposure to hazardous materials, and working in remote and dangerous locations. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of environmental journalism in exposing environmental destruction and promoting sustainable development. The work of environmental journalists is of critical importance in exposing environmental destruction, promoting sustainable development, and informing the public about issues that impact the planet and our future. However, this work is not without risks. Environmental journalists face a range of challenges that can put their safety and well-being at risk.

    To effectively report on environmental issues, journalists must often work in remote and dangerous locations, expose themselves to hazardous materials, and face the potential for harassment, intimidation, and even physical harm from those who seek to silence their reporting. In addition, governments and authorities often seek to control the narrative around environmental issues, which can lead to censorship, surveillance, and legal harassment.

    Despite these risks, environmental journalists and editors can take several steps to improve their safety and mitigate risks while reporting on environmental issues. By planning and preparing thoroughly, obtaining safety training, using protective gear, maintaining situational awareness, establishing contacts and support networks, using digital security measures, and advocating for press freedom, environmental journalists can reduce the risks they face while continuing to do their vital work.

    However, it is also essential for media organizations, governments, and civil society groups to work together to protect the safety and freedom of environmental journalists. This can include providing resources and training for journalists, advocating for press freedom, and acting against those who seek to intimidate or harm journalists.

    To fully realize the potential of environmental journalism to inform and engage the public on issues of critical importance, it is essential that we prioritize the safety and well-being of environmental journalists. This means working together to build an environment where journalists can report on environmental issues without fear of reprisals, and where their work is valued and respected as an essential component of a free and democratic society.

    We are open to new academic work that explores any issue of journalist safety. We particularly invite papers that examine the safety challenges of environmental journalists and which explore measures for improvement in this area.

    Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
    • Best practices for preparing and planning for reporting on environmental issues
    • Use of protective gear and safety training for environmental journalists
    • Digital security measures for environmental journalists
    • Challenges and risks of reporting on environmental issues in different regions around the world
    • Role of media organizations, governments, and civil society in protecting the safety of environmental journalists
    • Self-care and psychological well-being of environmental journalists
    • Collaborative efforts among environmental journalists and organizations to promote safety and press freedom

    We welcome abstracts of up to 250 words and a short bio to be uploaded to this secure online form by August 15, 2023. Please include your full name, institutional affiliation, and email. There is no registration fee, and 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 PhD students and researchers from low-income countries. Applications for scholarships should be submitted with the abstract together with a short CV and information about nearest airport etc. The best papers will be considered for a forthcoming peer-reviewed publication.

    For any questions, please contact We look forward to receiving your contributions to this important discussion on improving the safety of environmental journalists.