Digital Safety Support for Media Organizations

News Safety Cohort

2024 cohort open now: U.S. Election policy sprint

Apply now!

As the U.S. heads into an election year, support for online harassment is more critical than ever. Journalists are likely to see an uptick in online attacks and newsrooms need to be well prepared but may not have the time to do so. To respond to this, the IWMF is adapting its cohort model to ensure as many newsrooms are as protected as possible over a shorter period of time.

Newsrooms have a duty of care to support their journalists’ holistic safety needs – not only their physical safety on the ground, but their digital safety and mental health as well. Since 2020 we’ve been working full force to change the culture around online violence, asserting that it is real violence with real-world consequences for journalists’ wellbeing as well as press freedom at large.

The IWMF is proud to have worked with more than 40 newsrooms to improve their policies and procedures around online violence, including The Seattle Times and The San Francisco Chronicle. In 2022, the IWMF released a step-by-step guide, detailing policies and best practices newsrooms can implement to protect staff members.

Building on the IWMF’s unique training model, our News Safety Cohort connects media organizations around the world to promote a culture of safety.

The IWMF’s News Safety Cohort offers training and policy support for newsrooms. Newsrooms will come away from the program with policies and best practice that are tailored to their needs. This will be accompanied by a range of training for management, staff, and freelancers. By the end of the program, news leaders will feel safer and more confident when it comes to dealing with online attacks.

The News Safety Cohort benefits from the following:

  • Peer learning with newsrooms worldwide and ongoing engagement opportunities to share lessons learned and best practices with the journalism community.
  • Customized digital safety trainings with a gender and identity lens and support with developing newsroom safety protocols.
  • Access to the latest resources and one-on-one consultations with leading safety experts.

If you are interested in joining our 2024 cohort, please fill out our newsroom intake form here.

Ela Stapley, Digital Security Trainer

Ela Stapley

Ela Stapley is a digital safety advisor working internationally to support journalists with their digital security needs. She works with the IWMF as lead consultant on their online harassment initiative where she manages and shapes projects that focus on bolstering the security of women journalists online. Ela is the founder and director of Siskin Labs, a consulting firm that works with the media and nonprofit organizations to find practical ways to increase their digital safety. Ela has an MA in International Journalism from Cardiff University, UK.

2023 News Safety Cohort Members