Researchers announce initiatives on journalists’ safety for World Press Freedom Day
On UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day (Wednesday 3 May), researchers from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Communication and Media have announced two key initiatives to help improve the safety of journalists across the globe.
At a conference organised by the University of Liverpool, University of Sheffield, Columbia University and Worlds of Journalism Study in New York, Dr Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova discussed a global index comparing the safety of journalists in 120 different countries and a new online platform on journalists’ safety, both projects which she is leading.
The platform will be the first ever one-stop online resource on journalists’ safety for academics, NGOs and journalists. It is a joint initiative between the University of Liverpool and the Worlds of Journalism Study in collaboration with UNESCO.
Dr Emily Harmer and Dr Rosalynd Southern, also from the University’s Centre for Digital Politics, Media and Democracy, chaired panels on freedom of expression and safety issues faced by journalists with contributions from four continents.
The conference was officially opened by UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information Dr Tawfik Jelassi.
The researchers also attended an event in the UN headquarters in New York, marking 30 years of World Press Freedom Day, an annual day to encourage free press and freedom of expression around the world. They heard sobering testimony from journalists and NGOs discussing a range of threats faced by journalists around the world such as lawfare, online harassment and impunity.
Dr Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova, Reader in Global Journalism and Media said: “It was an honour to speak about how academic initiatives can help to promote freedom of expression across the world. The new platform we will launch in cooperation with UNESCO and the Worlds of Journalism Study will be an essential resource for anyone working on journalists’ safety so we are truly privileged to lead this effort.”
The UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information Dr Jelassi, thanked Dr Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova for her leadership role in the area of journalists’ safety. He said: “These academic efforts have, over time, significantly contributed to promoting freedom of expression, to defending freedom of expression but also, of course, to foster the safety of journalists worldwide.”
The academic conference organised by the University of Liverpool and partners was also referenced by Dr Jelassi in his closing speech at the World Press Freedom Day event at the UN Headquarters.
The project is funded by Research England, Public Policy Quality-Related Funding 2022-5 scheme.
A full recording of the conference is available here.