Countering Online Abuse of Female Journalists

Type: Reports Topic: Safety and Harassment

Women in News recommends this important report byRepresentative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, of the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It is Edited by Becky Gardiner

Online media today allows for the fast flow of information and the public’s active participation in sharing ideas, news and insight. An open, free and safe Internet is essential for public debate and free flow of information and therefore should be duly protected.

At the same time, the digitalization of media has made journalists and other online voices more vulnerable to threats and intimidation of different shapes and forms.

Journalists’ safety is a precondition for free speech and free media. Dealing with and minimizing threats to journalists is an essential component of the OSCE participating States’ commitment to the protection and safety of journalists.

Female journalists, bloggers and other media actors are disproportionally experiencing gender‑related threats, harassment and intimidation on the internet which has a direct impact on their safety and future online activities.

This report provides recommendations by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, on how participating States, media organizations and intermediaries can assist in ensuring that female journalists and media actors can work without fear and exercise their human right to freedom of expression.

The publication also features a number of essays from prominent journalists, academics and organizations on their experiences dealing with online threats against female journalists.

Overall, this publication aims to clarify the complexity of online abuse of female journalists and will be used as guidance for action to counter the phenomenon and replace it with an internet culture and environment in which everyone feels safe to share and receive information and opinions.