UNESCO and partners offer open online course on safety of women journalists

Globally, journalists face harassment, violence and threats every day. Women journalists face additional risks to their profession due to their gender. From newsrooms to reporting from the field, this violence can take the form of sexual harassment, assault, torture, sexual violence and being killed.
Women journalists are also particularly targeted in the digital sphere. In a 2020 UNESCO-ICFJ global survey on online violence faced by women journalists, 73% of women respondents said they had experienced online violence in the course of their work.

UNESCO, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) and University of Texas at Austin’s Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas are launching a joint Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called “How to Report Safely: A Guide for Women Journalists and their Allies”. The course, which begins on World Press Freedom Day (May 3rd), aims to address the gender dimensions of safety of journalists both online and offline and offers women journalists specialised safety training.

Led by instructor Alison Baskerville, the course is divided into four weekly modules:

Introduction to safety planning, including developing a risk assessment and a communication strategy
Situational awareness and personal safety, including mitigating risk in the field
Harassment and gender-based violence, including how to prepare for it and how to support those experiencing it
Self-care and mental wellbeing, including creating a self-care plan and peer support networks

The course will include video lectures and interviews with guest speakers, as well as readings and handouts. Students will also participate in discussion forums and take weekly quizzes.

This free course runs from May 3rd to May 30th. Participants from any time zone can join as the course can be followed asynchronously. More information on the MOOC, including registration information and the option to receive a certificate of completion, can be found here.

Registration for the MOOC is now open.

This project has been funded by the Swedish Postcode Foundation. This MOOC is part of UNESCO’s broader work in this area which besides capacity building, includes research and awareness-raising to tackle the different aspects of offline and online violence.

UNESCO will also be launching on 30 April a discussion paper on Global trends in online violence against women journalists, which will be discussed during a session at World Press Freedom Day.


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