The diminishment of media freedom through a range of diverse threats undermines the civil role of the factual mass media. Threats range from the subtle and often reasonable sounding constraints on journalism practice and freedom of expression such as journalists pandering to partisan views or adhering to commercially inspired imperatives to the creation of spaces of exception where journalists are denied their rights both as citizens and as journalists casting them simultaneously within and beyond the legal order, to the use of brutality and murder to silence them.
All of these threats can force journalists to adopt forms of self-censorship and lead to restrictions being placed upon the freedom to practice independent news journalism. This worldwide decline in the safety of news journalism and news journalists is of increasing concern to policymakers and researchers and, CFOM has a track record of input into UNESCO’s Information and Communication sector’s priorities and its UN Action Plan on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. CFOM is also working with civil society groups and through joint research aims to develop mechanisms for prevention of, protection against and prosecution of violence against journalists.
Through its research projects CFOM contributes to knowledge and awareness raising about the value of a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers in both conflict and non-conflict situations.
CFOM is hosting the Journalism Safety Research Network (JSRN) with the support of UNESCO, which it launched at UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day in Helsinki in 2016. The global research network includes members from diverse backgrounds united by a common concern for the safety of journalists and the promotion of free and independent journalism.
Recently funded research projects:
- ‘Building and evaluating journalism safety databases’, with Free Press Unlimited (2017-18).
- ‘Evaluating the values, practices and attitudes of news editors with regard to journalism safety and impunity in Mexico, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Turkey, India and the Democratic Republic of Congo’, funded by the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) (2016-17).
- ‘The Development of a Journalism Safety Trend Tool (JST) to enable the description and examination of patterns, trends and the prediction of journalistic risk through the analysis of relationships between different combinations of macro and meso/micro variables that capture constellations of civil loss’, ESRC Collaborative PhD studentship with UNESCO (2015-18).
- Harrison, J and Pukallus, S (2018) The Politics of Impunity: a Study of Journalists’ experiential accounts of impunity in Bulgaria, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Mexico and Pakistan. Journalism, pp 1-17.
- Amos, M., Harrison, J. and Woods, L (eds) (2012) Freedom of expression and the media: the application of legal standards to journalistic practice Nijhoff Law Specials Vol. 79 Leiden. Boston: Martinus Nijhoff pp256.
- Harrison, J. and Pukallus, S. ‘Strengthening Freedom of The Media: evaluating the values, practices and attitudes of news editors with regard to journalism safety and impunity in Mexico, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Turkey, India and the Democratic Republic Of Congo’ paper presented by Jackie Harrison at the May 2016 Helsinki research conference.
- Harrison, J. (2011) ‘The Development of a European Civil Society through EU Public Service Communication’ in Papathanassopoulos, S. and Negrine, R. (eds.) Towards a Theory of Communication Policy, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Harrison, J. (2010), ‘Digital Britain: Civil Aims and the BBC’, Communications Law, 14 (6) pp 112-118.
- Harrison, J. (2010), ‘Ofcom, Local TV and Public Purpose’, Communications Law, 13 (1) pp 3-8.
- Harrison, J. (2012) The sacking of anti-austerity journalists is part of a worrying trend for press freedom in Spain.
- Harrison, J. and Pukallus (2015-16) ‘Strengthening Freedom of the Media: Evaluating the values, practices and attitudes of news editors with regard to journalism safety and the impunity in six countries’, International Programme for the Development of Communication, UNESCO.
- Horsley, W. and Page, D. (2018), Media Freedom in the Commonwealth: Making the Commitments Real, The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 107 (2), pp. 137-149
- Horsley, W. (2014). Safety of Journalists Guidebook (2nd Edition), OSCE
- Horsley, W. and Harrison, J., (2013), ‘Censorship by Bullet’, British Journalism Review, 24(1), pp 39-46.
- Katsirea, I. (2017), ‘Digital terrestrial television in Greece: Curiouser and curiouser’ , International Journal of Digital Television, 8(2), 201-219
- Katsirea, I., (2015), ‘Public Service Broadcasting in Greece Back to the Future or Point of no Return’ (together with P. Iosifidis) Global Media Journal, 10 (1), pp. 1-12.
- Katsirea, I. ‘Public Service Broadcasting in Greece in the Era of Austerity’ (together with P. Iosifidis), Centre for Media Freedom and Pluralism Working Paper Series, European University Institute, RSCAS 2014/42, 1-17.
- Pukallus, S. and Harrison, J. (2016) ‘If media freedom is a fundamental value in the EU why doesn’t the EU do anything to ensure its application: The non-use of Art.7 TEU’, in (ed.) Koltay, A. Comparative Perspectives on the Fundamentals of Freedom of Expression, Netherlands: Wolters Kluwer.
- Pukallus, S. (2015) If the EU is serious about freedom of expression it should take aim at Spain’s controversial ‘gag law’, contribution to the EUROPP Blog, London School of Economics and Political Science, June.
- Price, L. (2015), Secrets, Lies and Journalist-Spies – the contemporary moral dilemma for Bulgarian media professionals. International Journal of Press/Politics. SAGE Vol. 20 (2) 185-203.
- Price, L. (2015), “Journalists’ Perceptions of Nomenklatura Networks and Media Ownership in Post-Communist Bulgaria” Medijske Studije/Media Studies. Vol. 6 (11) 19-34
- Price, L. (2014), “Media Freedom Under Threat in Bulgaria”, British Journalism Review, Vol. 23 (3) 50-54.
- Price, L. Guardian Article, Why Bulgaria is the EU’s lowest ranking country on press freedom index, (September 2014).
- Pukallus, S. and Harrison, J. ‘Journalists Die: Who Cares?’, British Journalism Review, (2015) Vol. 26 no. 1, 63-68. Read Journalists Die: Who Cares here
- Pukallus, S. ‘The-protection-of-journalists-in-Croatia, (November 2013).
- Pukallus, S, Harrison, J (2014) “CFOM Preliminary Research on the Non-Reporting of and the Public’s Interest In Crimes Against Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (Summary)”, Centre for Freedom Of the Media (CFOM), University of Sheffield, UK