IPDC Chair Albana Shala Calls for Research Partnerships on Journalists’ Safety at WPFD Conference

IPDC Chair Albana Shala took part in a two-day research conference on the safety of journalists during the celebrations of World Press Freedom Day in Helsinki, Finland on 3 and 4 May. The conference aimed at strengthening cooperation with academia in line with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

The IPDC Chair highlighted IPDC’s history as a driver of knowledge-driven media development, and stated that journalists’ safety was a priority area in which IPDC wished to strengthen cooperation with academia to produce research. “Research will help in mainstreaming safety of journalists, raising public awareness, involving Governments in addressing impunity and finally support sustainable development of  peaceful societies all over the world.”

Shala identified three areas in which IPDC would be interested in exploring possibilities of partnerships with academia. Firstly, partnerships for new applications of the UNESCO/IPDC Journalists’ Safety Indicators. Secondly, research on the processes that lead to the successful establishment of national safety mechanisms. And thirdly, the identification and compilation of best practices from different parts of the world in monitoring, reporting on and promoting the safety of journalists.

The conference brought together more than 50 academics from six continents, and was organized by UNESCO in partnership with the University of Sheffield (Centre for Freedom of the Media), the University of Tampere, the University of Helsinki, and the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).