To strengthen cooperation with academia in line with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, UNESCO has developed an academic research agenda on the topic of safety of journalists. By creation of the agenda, UNESCO aims to encourage new academic research in this important area that until present has been covered only by a scarce amount of scientifically oriented studies. Scholars of different fields are invited to participate in the academic special sessions that UNESCO will be organizing during various events in order to discuss the research agenda and to make contributions to it. It is hoped that the agenda inspires new research, and that in the future, more researchers will be conducting research on the topics of the agenda.
As the UN agency with a specific mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom, UNESCO actively promotes the safety of journalists and those who produce journalism. UNESCO has championed the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, which is the first concerted effort within the UN system to address these issues via a multi-stakeholder and holistic approach. The UN Plan aims towards the creation of a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers in both conflict and non-conflict situations, with a view to strengthen peace, democracy, and development worldwide.
Academic research on safety issues can significantly increase the understanding of the complex issue of safety of journalists, and through that contribute to creation of safer working conditions for all who produce journalism. UNESCO endorses cooperation with academic scholars, and actively works towards strengthening it. The academic research agenda is an effort towards that end. It discusses ten broad areas of possible research relating to the safety of journalists, including the aspects of physical, digital and psychological safety. The research agenda is a continuous work-in-process, and comments and new inputs are always welcomed to improve the document.
UNESCO organizes a series of special academic sessions in order to discuss the research agenda, but also to invite scholars to share their ongoing research. The first two sessions took place in July 2015, during the IAMCR 2015 conference in Montreal, Canada, and Global Communication Association Conference in Berlin, Germany. During the IAMCR conference in Leicester, UK (27-31 July 2016), the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM, University of Sheffield) announced the Journalism Safety Research Network, JSRN. Read further details here.
UNESCO organized the first academic full conference on the topic together with UNESCO Chair at the University of Gothenburg in cooperation with University of Sheffield, University of Tampere, University of Helsinki and IAMCR during the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) celebrations in Helsinki, Finland, on 3-4 May 2016. The conference brought together more than 80 researchers working on or interested in safety of journalists. The results of the conference were published in the study The Assault on Journalism: Building Knowledge to Protect Freedom of Expression, launched the following year at WPFD 2017.
For further questions concerning the research agenda and the upcoming special academic sessions, please contact Mr. Guy Berger, Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development.
Click here to download UNESCO's Research Agenda on the Safety of Journalists.
This is a non-exhaustive list of published research on the issues of impunity and the safety of journalists:
- Balguy-Gallois, Alexandre (2004). The protection of journalists and news media and personnel in armed conflict. International Review of the Red Cross. Vol. 86, No. 853. pp. 37 - 67
- Balguy-Gallois, Alexandre (2010). Le rôle des médias et l’accès des journalistes sur le terrain des hostilités : une garantie supplémentaire du respect du droit international humanitaire?. In: Les tiers aux conflits armés et la protection des populations civiles. Sorel, Jean-Marc and Fouchard, Isabelle (eds), pp. 85 - 106
- Benvenuti, Paolo (2001). The ICTY Prosecutor and the Review of the NATO Bombing Campaign against the Federal Republic of Yougoslavia, European Journal of International Law, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 503 - 529
- Bertoni, Eduardo (2015). Prevent and Punish: In search of solutions to fight violence against journalists. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- Bertoni, Eduardo and Torres, Natalia (2012). Institutional Design and Effectiveness of the Agencies Charged with Protecting Journalists and Investigating Crimes against the Press: Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala. Universidad de Palermo
- Between Radicalisation and Democratisation in an Unfolding Conflict: Media in Pakistan (2009). International Media Support (IMS)
- Bhattarai, Binod, Gaunle, Shiva, Dhakal, Bimal Prasad, Bhuwan, K.C., Ganga, B.C. & Narayan Shah, Tula (2010). Impunity in Nepal - A Study of Excesses During the Transition. Center for Investigative Journalism (CIJ)
- Bilan Annuel 2012 (2012). Reporters Without Borders
- Boiton-Malherbe, Sylvie (1989). La protection des journalistes en mission périlleuse dans les zones de conflit armé
- Browne, Evie and Probert, Thomas (eds) (2012). Safety of Journalists Research Pack. Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR). University of Cambridge
Farthofer, Hilde (2010). Journalist in Armed Conflicts – Protection Measures in the International Humanitarian Law. Paper presented at the SGIR 7th Pan-European International Relations Conference, Stockholm
- Feinstein, Anthony (2012). Mexican Journalists: An Investigation of Their Emotional Health. Journal of Traumatic Stress. Vol. 25, Issue 4, pp. 480 - 483
- Final Report on Freedom of Expression and Protection of Journalistic Sources (2016). International Legal Research Group, European Law Students' Association
- Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (2000). International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
- Geiss, Robin (2008). The Protection of Journalists in Armed Conflicts. In: German Yearbook of International Law. Vol. 51, pp. 289 - 320
- Howard, Dylan (2002). Remaking the Pen Mightier Than the Sword: An Evaluation of the Growing Need for the International Protection of Journalists. In: Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law. Vol. 30, pp. 505 – 542
- Impunidad deja expuestos a los periodistas hondureños (2010). International Media Support (IMS)
- Jacobi, Susan (1982). War Correspondent. In: Bernhardt, Rudolf (ed.). Encyclopedia of Public International Law. Vol. 4, p. 1346 f.
- Jayasekera, Rohan (2004). Options for media development in Iraq
- Jorge Luis Sierra (2012). Digital and Mobile Security for Mexican Journalists and Bloggers. A project of Freedom House and International Center for Journalists.
- Killing the Messenger: Report of the Global Inquiry By The International News Safety Institute Into the Protection of Journalists (2007). International News Safety Institute
- Kirby, Michael and Jackson, Lawrence J. (1986). International Humanitarian Law and the Protection of Media Personnel. University of New South Wales Law Journal. Vol. 9, pp. 1 - 16
- Knightley, Phillip (2004). The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker from the Crimea to Iraq
- Mari, Jean-Pail (2004). Two Murders and a Lie. Reporters Without Borders
- Matloff, Judith (2007). Unspoken – Foreign Correspondents and Sexual Abuse. The Columbia Journalism Review
- Mendel, Toby (2016). Supporting Freedom of Expression: A Practical Guide to Developing Specialised Safety Mechanisms. UNESCO and Centre for Law and Democracy
- Mukherjee, Amit (1995). The Internationalization of Journalists' "Rights": An Historical Analysis. Journal of International Law and Practice. Vol. 4, pp. 87 - 113
- NATO/Federal Republic of Yugoslavia „Collageral Damage“ or Unlawful Killings? Violations of the Laws of War by NATO during Operation Allied Force (2000). Amnesty International
- Press Freedom in Mexico: The Shadow of Impunity and Violence (2008). International Media Support (IMS)
- Report on Training Needs for South Sudanese Journalists (2008). FOJO: MEDIA INSTITUTE
- Rosario-Braid, Florangel, Maslog, Crispin C., Tuazon, Ramon R. (2012). Crimes and Punishment: The Killing of Filipino Journalists. Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC)
- Safeguarding Media Rights and Ending Impunity in Nepal (2012). International Media Support (IMS)
- Sambrook, Richard (2010). Are Foreign Correspondents Redundant? The Changing Face of International News. Challenges December 2010. Edited by Bundy, Colin, Gardam, Tim, Garton Ash, Timothy, Levy, David, Linnebank, Geert and Lloyd, John. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford
- Saul, Ben (2009). Prosecuting War Crimes at Balibo Under Australian Law: The Killing of Five Journalists in East Timor by Indonesia. Sydney Law Review. Vol. 31, pp. 83 - 120
- Saul, Ben (2008). The International Protection of Journalists in Armed Conflict and Other Violent Situations. Australian Journal of Human Rights. Vol. 14(1), pp. 99 - 140
- Smyth, Frank (2010). Murdering with Impunity. Harvard International Review
- The Initiative on Impunity and the Rule of Law - Safety and Protection of Journalists: A Responsibility for the World (2011). Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism (CLJJ) at City University London and Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM), University of Sheffield
- Violence and Harassment against Women in the News Media: A Global Picture (2014). International Women’s Media Foundation and the International News Safety Institute, USA.
- Violence and Impunity: Protecting Journalists in Colombia and Mexico (2010). Inter-American Dialogue
- Women Reporting War. International News Safety Institute
- A Survival Guide for Journalists (2003). International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
- Charter for the Safety of Journalists Working in War Zones or Dangerous Areas (2012). Reporters Without Borders
- Coaching Manual for Media Support during Elections (2006). International Media Support, Media & Democracy Group and Réseau Liberté
- Defence Handbook for Journalists and Bloggers (2015). Thomson Reuters Foundation et.al
- Guidelines for Election Broadcasting (2005). Article 19
- Handbook for Journalist (July 2012). Reporters without Borders and UNESCO
- Howard, Ross (2004). Media + Elections: An Elections Reporting Handbook
- Smyth, Frank (2012). CPJ Journalist Security Guide - Covering the News in a dangerous and changing world. Committee to Protect Journalists
- SpeakSafe: Media Workers’ Toolkit for Safer Online and Mobile Practices (2012). Internews
- The Safety of Journalists: Report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1 July 2013)