IWMF Launches Newsroom Initiative to Protect Journalists Online

Safety Guide Prepares and Protects News Media from Digital Attacks

[September 20, 2022 – WASHINGTON, DC] The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) today introduced a robust and practical safety guide for global newsrooms to better protect journalists from online violence. With case studies from Radio Free Europe, The Seattle Times, Protocol Media and more, this guide is a pioneering step in addressing the epidemic of digital attacks on journalists and will work to mitigate pernicious abuse such as doxing, hate speech, trolling and other types of assault online.

Available to download now, A Guide to Protecting Newsrooms and Journalists Against Online Violence was funded by Craig Newmark Philanthropies and developed by the IWMF. The safety guide contains easily adaptable models built on years of feedback from newsrooms and journalists. The step-by-step process helps newsrooms to raise awareness, secure accounts, develop policies and issue statements of support on behalf of journalists. The guide also contains templates for safety assessments, checklists and surveys as well as resources for newsrooms to further mitigate risk.

“Online violence is a rampant but often hidden menace affecting newsrooms worldwide,” said Elisa Lees Muñoz, executive director of the IWMF. “With this guide, the IWMF hopes to change the culture of silence associated with online attacks and to support newsrooms in fulfilling their duty of care to reporters. With the 2022 mid-term elections on the horizon, it’s critical that newsrooms protect their journalists so we can keep essential voices in news media.”

The launch of this guide is a part of a broader initiative called the IWMF News Safety Project, which was developed for newsrooms to be a part of the solution in combatting online violence. Newsrooms can demonstrate their support by signing up to receive free safety training, and other types of support to keep journalists safe online through the IWMF’s Newsroom Safety Intake Portal.

In 2020, the IWMF convened the Coalition Against Online Violence, a collection of global organizations working to find better solutions for women journalists facing digital abuse. Representing nearly 80 organizations worldwide, the CAOV oversees the Online Violence Ressponse Hub, where journalists can seek support, tools and guidance for a range of challenges affecting their work and life online. In 2021, the CAOV launched a first-of-its-kind Public Service Announcement campaign to bring global attention to the rise of targeted, damaging attacks against journalists online – particularly against women and diverse journalists.

For more information about IWMF’s work in online safety, you can visit the IWMF website.


About the International Women’s Media Foundation

The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is the only global organization built to serve the holistic needs of women and nonbinary journalists. We are an ambitious, bold and inclusive organization that supports journalists where they are with awards, reporting opportunities, fellowships, grants, safety training and emergency aid. As one of the largest supporters of women-produced journalism, our transformative work strengthens equal opportunity and press freedom worldwide. Follow the IWMF on Twitter at @IWMF, on Facebook at @IWMFPage, and Instagram on @TheIWMF.