Back to search

INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

Safety Matters: Research and education on the Safety of Journalists in cooperation between Norway–Brazil–South Africa and USA.

Alternative title: Safety Matters: Forskning og utdanning om sikkerhet for journalister i samarbeid mellom Norge – Brasil – Sør-Afrika og USA.

Awarded: NOK 10.0 mill.

The "Safety Matters" initiative represents a collaborative effort to tackle the growing safety concerns facing journalists, a project that involves experts and professionals from countries like Norway, South Africa, Brazil, and the USA. Its main objective is to enhance the safety of journalists, with a special focus on areas such as gender issues, collective resilience among journalists, and cybersecurity. Central to this initiative is the creation of the first international PhD course dedicated to the safety of journalists. This innovative educational program aims to provide journalists with essential knowledge and skills to navigate the increasingly complex and risky field of journalism. Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the project successfully adapted by incorporating a blended learning approach, using both traditional and Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) methods. This adaptability was evident in the successful hosting of Safety of Journalists Conferences at Oslo Metropolitan University and the execution of three PhD courses that have engaged 30 participants from the involved countries. The project's research component is particularly focused on pressing issues such as the gender dimension in journalistic safety, strategies for building collective resilience among journalists, and the ever-important aspect of cybersecurity. These topics are crucial in understanding the multifaceted risks journalists face today, ranging from gender-specific threats to digital security challenges. Looking forward, the initiative is poised to deepen the understanding of these challenges and contribute to the development of more robust safety protocols and practices for journalists. This focus is especially timely given the increasing recognition of the importance of gender perspectives, community support networks, and secure digital practices in the field of journalism. Overall, the "Safety Matters" initiative stands as a significant endeavor in supporting the safety and well-being of journalists. While it has achieved noteworthy progress, its ongoing commitment to addressing complex safety issues, including gender, collective resilience, and cybersecurity, highlights the evolving nature of journalism and the need for continuous support and innovation in this field.

Safety Matters will bring together scholars, journalists and actors from the public sphere to create an internationally leading research and educational environment to address major societal concerns related to the safety of journalists. The activities will be organised around the collaborative effort to establish the first international PhD course on “the Safety of Journalists”. Both mobility of students and researchers and to continue to develop tools for better distance learning will be central. The team will consist of researchers and prominent journalists/journalist organisations from Norway, South Africa, Brazil and the USA. The qualifying project 'Making Transparency Possible' researches investigative journalism on illicit financial flows such as Lux Leaks, Swiss Leaks, Panama Papers etc. A rising concern emerging from the results of the project, however, relates to the safety and well being of whistleblowers and journalists. The safety issues are not limited to the Global South and countries typically featuring on lists of most dangerous countries for journalists, as both investigative journalists and whistleblowers are increasingly targeted also in Europe and North America. Furthermore, the gender dimension of journalists' safety is one of increasing concern. The safety aspects of investigative journalism were underestimated in the original plan for the qualifying project. However, overwhelming evidence demonstrates that unsafe environments for journalism lead to self-censorship and other safety related mechanisms that contribute to making transparency about finance and illicit financial flows virtually impossible. It would greatly enhance the results of the qualifying project, as well as strengthening journalism education and research, and investigative journalists' work in general, if we could understand better the safety aspects influencing public knowledge about illicit financial flows. This project is designed to help fill this particular need.

Publications from Cristin

No publications found

Funding scheme:

INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research