Building peace in the minds of men and women

WPFD Academic Conference




Important information:

Academic Conference: 9 December 2020

World Press Freedom Conference: 9-10 December 2020

Conference registration (mandatory) : 

Full papers are accessible on the conference platform under the library section 


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 Leiden University are hosting the 5th Academic Conference on Safety of Journalists at the World Press Freedom Day Conference 2020 (WPFD 2020).

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Safety of Journalists - Press Freedom and media capture’. Academics from across the globe will present their work on the safety of journalists and, through an interactive, online platform, share it with fellow academics, journalists, policy-makers, legal specialists and other relevant groups. Subthemes include: safety of women journalists, local politics and the safety of journalists and safety of journalists in challenging environments.

The Academic Conference will be streamed live from The Hague on Wednesday 9 December, from 16:30 to 20:30 (CET).

Online slots are limited so make sure to register to the conference to attend the event!



Opening of the Academic Conference

16:30 – 16:45 (CET)


Paper presentations

16:45 – 17.45 (CET)


  • « Az Mina Case: Freedom of expression or apology to crime », by Cristiane Bonfim and Eulália Camurça (Federal University of Ceará, Brazil)
  • « Understanding the link between a media literate citizenry and the (un)-safety of journalism », by Jackie Harrison, Sara Torsner, Albana Shala and Silvia Chocarro (University of Sheffield, UK)
  • « Suffering in silence: The resilience of Pakistan’s female journalists to combat sexual harrassment, threats and discrimination », by Sadia Jamil (Khalifa University, UAE)
  • « Power blocks: Unravelling the myriad of unsafe spaces for women journalists in South Africa. What is the way forward? », by Glenda Daniels (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa)
  • « Defending journalism: Part two », by Elisabeth Witchel (International Media Support)
  • « Do journalists at risk change the content of their reporting? The case of journalists covering Boko Haram in Nigeria », by Babak Bahador and Adepate Mustapha-Koiki (George Washington University, USA and University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
  • « Anti-media discourse, partisanship, and violence against journalists: evidence from Chávez’s Venezuela », by Kyong Mazzaro (City University of New York, USA)\
  • « Safer together? Considerations for cooperation to address safety in the media support, humanitarian and human rights sectors », by Michelle Betz (International Media Support)
Chat sessions with paper presenters
17:45 – 18:45(CET)
Enter a chat session with paper presenters, discuss and ask questions about their research
Poster presentations
18:45-19:20 (CET)
  • « Threats to journalism safety and freedom of expression in Bulgaria », by Lada Trifonova Price (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)
  • « Checking impunity for attacks on journalists: The need for new international human rights law mechanisms », by Edward Carter (Brigham Young University, USA)
  • « Understanding safety violations of journalists beyond their manifestation: Assessing the consequence of risk to journalism as a form of civil diminishment », by Sara Torsner (University of Sheffield, UK)
  • « Securing safety of journalists in challenging environments », by Faisal Elbagir (University of Nairobi, Kenya)
  • « ‘Safe and objective’? Journalistic principles affected by increasing threats to journalists in the field », by Marte Høiby and Rune Ottosen (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
  • « The triple siege of Mexican journalism: media-state-organized crime relations and press freedom in Mexico », by David Jáuregui, Grisel Salazar, Gabriela Millán, Sofía Rivera and Diana López (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, Mexico City)
  • « Winter in journalism after the Arab Spring: Freelance professionals, precarious conditions and lack of safety measures », by Annette Unda, Leire Iturregui and María José Cantalapiedra (University of the Basque Country, Spain)
  • « Safety of journalists in Nigeria », by Josiah Sabo Kente (Nasarawa State University, Nigeria)
  • « Safety of journalists: measures, practice and policies of news organisations », by Comfort Bulus and Ayodele Joseph (Kaduna State University and University of Jos, Nigeria)
  • « Journalism in the dock: An analysis of Folha de São Paulo’s judicial discussions during the Brazilian 2018 elections », by Cristiane Bonfim & Eulália Camurça (Federal University of Ceará, Brazil)
Chat sessions with poster presenters
19:20 – 20:25 (CET)
Enter a chat session with paper presenters, discuss and ask questions about their research