Building peace in the minds of men and women

WPFD Academic Conference


World Press Freedom Conference 2020 has been postponed over uncertainties surrounding travel. Please refer to the FAQs for more information.





Important dates:

Academic Conference: 23-24 April 2020

World Press Freedom Conference: 22-24 April 2020

Submission of abstracts (300 words) is now closed: until 24 January 2020

Announcement of selected papers: 12 February 2020

Submission of final papers: 14 April 2020


Call for Papers


Attacks against journalists occur all over the world, significantly hampering freedom of expression and press freedom. Only when journalists can report safely, without fear of retaliation for critical reporting or other threats to their safety in the execution of their job, can press freedom be achieved. Contributions from different sectors of society are crucial to move towards this goal. Such as the input from academics. Therefore UNESCO, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the University of Leiden are hosting the 5th Academic Conference on Safety of Journalists at the World Press Freedom Day Conference 2020 (WPFD 2020). The theme of this event is ‘Safety of Journalists - Press Freedom and media capture’.

The Academic Conference will be held on 23- 24 April, as part of WPFD 2020 that will take place on April 22, 23, 24. The venue will be the World Forum in The Hague - the international city of peace and justice - where journalists, policy makers, media officials, legal specialists, scientists and other relevant groups will meet and share their knowledge. Journalists should be able to practice their work without fear, no matter where they are in the world. Nevertheless they are targets of harassment, threats and violence. Journalism today undergoes many pressures from actors trying to capture or intimidate media in order to hamper journalists in their daily work and by doing so, influence the flow of free and independent information.

To support joint efforts to protect journalism, there is a need for research-based knowledge. Therefore the role of the academic sector is essential. The organizers of the Academic Conference on Safety of Journalists 2020 call upon those active in the field to participate in the Academic Conference, to submit their paper and poster presentation to participate in the academic conference. Please refer to the call for papers [link to pdf] for details. The deadline for submissions is 24 January 2020. Selected papers will be announced on 12 February 2020.

Background: During the 23rd edition of the World Press Freedom Day celebration in 2016 in Finland, the Journalism Safety Research Network (JSRN) was launched, coinciding with the first edition of the Academic Conference. The network aims to strengthen the field of research and ultimately contribute to safer environments for journalists by creating a space where multidisciplinary research on the safety of journalists can be developed, shared and promoted worldwide.


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