Practical and legal tools to protect the safety of journalists

The Thomson Reuters Foundation has partnered with UNESCO, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF), and the International News Safety Institute (INSI) to develop practical and legal tools for journalists, media managers and newsrooms to counter harassment.

Practical and legal tools to protect the safety of journalists

The Thomson Reuters Foundation has partnered with UNESCO, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF), and the International News Safety Institute (INSI) to develop practical and legal tools for journalists, media managers and newsrooms to counter harassment.

ABOUT

From impersonation accounts to hateful slurs and death threats, journalists around the world are facing increasing levels of abuse. The consequences are significant, ranging from physical and psychological harm to the individual, to preventing their work and effectively silencing their reporting.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation has partnered with UNESCO, IWMF and INSI to develop a range of practical and legal tools for journalists, media managers and newsrooms to strengthen responses to online and offline harassment and to protect free and independent media.

The Practical Guide for Women Journalists on How to Respond to Online Harassment and Checklist and Guidelines on Gender-Sensitive Safety Policies for Newsrooms address the challenges experienced by reporters and media workers in a climate where nearly three-quarters of women journalists surveyed say they have experienced online abuse. The Online Attacks Against Journalists: Know Your Rights Guide provides those targeted with specific legal tools to deal with online harassment and covers the legal rights of journalists across 13 countries.

PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR WOMEN JOURNALISTS ON HOW TO RESPOND TO ONLINE HARASSMENT

This guide provides concrete actions that women journalists can take both in limiting the risk of certain types of digital attacks and when facing harassment and gender-based violence online. The guide includes information on how to document abuse and potential remedial action.

Author: The content was developed by Ela Stapley, IWMF under the coordination of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and UNESCO. Dechert LLP generously provided pro bono research.

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CHECKLIST AND GUIDELINES ON GENDER-SENSITIVE SAFETY POLICIES FOR NEWSROOMS

Developed for editors and media managers, this checklist and set of guidelines provide newsrooms with best practice advice for creating a culture of safety in the workplace, both online and offline.

The document also outlines how to establish a culture within the organisation that effectively tackles sexual harassment and creates a safe environment for journalists to report cases of harassment. It includes a checklist that summarises the guidelines, and covers a range of measures and mechanisms that can be put in place to ensure that safety policies and practices within newsrooms are gender-sensitive, gender-responsive and address gender-based sexual harassment.

Author: The content was developed by Ela Stapley, IWMF under the coordination of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and UNESCO. Dechert LLP generously provided pro bono research.

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ONLINE ATTACKS AGAINST JOURNALISTS: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS GUIDE

This practical guide provides journalists with concrete legal tools to deal with online harassment: to identify punishable offences, seek help from appropriate organisations, gather evidence efficiently, and take the correct steps should they decide to file a complaint against the perpetrators. Where applicable, it also presents examples of litigation initiated by journalists who were victims of online harassment.

It covers the legal rights of journalists in Australia, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom (England and Wales) and the United States.

Author: The Guide was commissioned by INSI and UNESCO and facilitated by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The following law firms provided pro bono legal research: Baker McKenzie, KLA - Koury Lopes Advogados, Simmons & Simmons LLP, Arthur Cox, Paul Hastings, Intel Corporation, DLA Piper, Dechert LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP, Bowmans and Nishith Desai Associates.

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PARTNERS

PARTNER RESOURCES

Coalition Against Online Violence This resource hub is where women journalists can find the latest information on online abuse and harassment.
UNESCO This page provides tools and research to strengthen the safety of women journalists.
IWMF This page includes various courses available in English, French and Spanish designed to combat online violence, as well as access to one-to-one digital safety consultations.

ABOUT OUR MEDIA FREEDOM WORK

The Thomson Reuters Foundation believes that the media is a crucial pillar of any free, fair and informed society. Media outlets are facing unprecedented economic and technological challenges and there is an alarming increase in attacks on journalists around the world. We work with journalists, media managers, legal practitioners, policymakers, regulators, technologists, academia and businesses to foster a free and prosperous media ecosystem that can play a vital role in supporting democracy and development.

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WE ARE HERE TO HELP

These resources were facilitated by TrustLaw, which is part of the corporate foundation of Thomson Reuters. We offer pro bono legal support to non-profits and social enterprises around the world.

If you identify legal needs while using the resources above, have ideas for additional resources we could develop, or have questions on how to connect with our global network of lawyers, please get in contact. If you are a TrustLaw member and in need of specific pro bono legal advice, please log in to submit a request through our TrustLaw Portal.

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