Safety of journalists – Risks, Resistance, Resilience
Roy Krøvel, Professor, Oslo Metropolitan University, Kristin Skare Orgeret, Professor, Oslo Metropolitan University and Ingrid Fadnes, journalist and researcher
Attacks on journalists is a growing problem globally as threats and violence against them affect freedom of expression and the public sphere in many ways. This special issue proposes a focus on “risk”, “resistance” and “resilience”.
The exploitation of risks is fundamental to news journalism as an institution. Journalists are both important in the processes of communicating risk, as well as being increasingly exposed to risks and dangers professionally in manners that may even cost their lives. High-risk assignments for journalists imply working in conditions where the likelihood of physical or psychological harm is significantly higher than normal. The risks and threats stem from geopolitical changes as well as a perceived loss of neutrality for journalists (Wahl-Jørgensen et al, 2016). Even journalism itself is at risk through what Reporters without borders’ Christophe Deloire labels the “converging crises affecting the future of journalism”: a geopolitical; a technological; a democratic; an economic and a crisis of trust (RSF, 2020),
As argued by (Rossdale, 2016) resistance often involves the cultivation of alternative practices of security. Resistance could mean both fighting back as well as the refusal to accept or comply and/or the ability not to be affected by something. Scholars also argue that to be able to survive, journalism itself will have to resist any pressure on its ability to seek the truth in the public interest (Wasserman, 2018), and the concept as such may hence also be linked to organizations in resistance.
Last, journalists’ safety may be enhanced by training and by establishing strategies of resilience for instance against online threats, hate speech and other forms of psychological pressure (Ganter and Paulini, 2020). A definition of social resilience should include coping, adaptive and transformative capacities. According to Keck and Sakdapolrak, social resilience is “the ability of social actors to cope with and overcome all kinds of adversities”, “their ability to learn from past experiences and adjust themselves to future challenges in their everyday lives” as well as “their ability to craft sets of institutions that foster individual welfare and sustainable societal robustness towards future crises” (Keck and Sakdapolrak, 2013). Greater resilience, seen as the ability to bounce back, is generally associated with the ability to self-organize, oftentimes including social learning as part of a process of adaptation and transformation.
There clearly is a need to gather more empirical and theoretical evidence on the dynamics impacting the safety of journalists. This special issue invites contributions considering different aspects of risk, resistance and resilience addressing and analysing facets that seek to provide a stronger foundation of knowledge in the field.
The special issue invites contributions related to the safety of journalists working in different geographical, social or /and political contexts. We invite articles that seek to deepen theoretical understandings of the safety of journalists by conceptualizing risk, resistance and resilience as well as empirically driven explorations. We are particularly interested in articles that analyses collective and social forms of resistance and resilience in journalism. Furthermore, we open for deliberations of more risk, resistance and resilience related issues by inviting articles discussing topics such as:
- Collective action to enhance the safety of journalist
- Cross-border initiatives to improve safety
- Self-education and ways of organization to make journalism safer
- Gender dimensions in the safety of journalists
- The role of UN and UNESCO in protecting journalists
- Safety training for journalists and the role of safety trainers/ organizations
- Media ownership and safety for journalists
- New conceptualizations of journalistic safety
Mobil: +47 917 54 425
Kontor: +47 67 23 83 27