26.01.2017 - Communication & Information Sector

Call for proposals: Academic Research Conference on Safety of Journalists 2017

UNESCO, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), is pleased to invite contributions from the international community of scholars to the 2017 Academic Research Conference on Safety of Journalists. The academic conference, from 3 to 4 May 2017, is a special academic session which will be held alongside UNESCO’s main celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

UNESCO welcomes perspectives from any academic discipline, illuminating various aspects of the theme in diverse societal contexts. The killing, harassment and intimidation of journalists not only constitute violations against the targeted individuals and their families, but also restrict the flow of information and ideas directly and indirectly, by creating a climate of fear and self-censorship.

Abstracts in English of up to 300 words must be submitted by 9 January 2017 via the academic conference’s website.

The conference considers the theme of journalists’ safety holistically. The conference will cover preventive, protective and pre-emptive measures; it will include combating impunity as well as promoting a social culture that prizes press freedom and is tolerant of different viewpoints. We welcome contributions from any disciplinary perspective and scholarly approach, from quantitative or qualitative empirical studies to conceptual explorations of the theme.

Studies could focus, for example, on rights and legal issues; socio-political contexts; institutional and professional practices; and public attitudes. For the 2017 conference, we are particularly (but not exclusively) interested in scholarship that examines:

  • how a culture of intolerance intimidates journalists and other commentators;
  • threats from the ground from state and non-state actors including the public;
  • the effectiveness of existing training and other programmes addressing journalists’ safety and impunity;
  • journalists’ safety and impunity from a comparative, multi-country perspective;
  • “meta” questions of how to frame research into the safety of journalists.

For a more comprehensive list of potential research topics, please refer to UNESCO’s Research Agenda on journalists’ safety as well as the 2016 UNESCO Academic Research Conference on Safety of Journalists in Helsinki, Finland.

To ensure diverse participation and in collaboration with Hong Kong Baptist University, a limited number of partial/full sponsorship is available covering flights and hotel accommodation, with priority given to academics based in the Global South. Most meals will be provided. No registration fee will be charged.  Please refer to the academic conference’s website for more information concerning travel support.

Participants of the academic conference are expected to arrive in Jakarta no later than 2 May 2017 (Tuesday) and depart no earlier than late evening of 4 May 2017 (Thursday).

Participants of the academic conference will be joining some aspects of the main celebration of World Press Freedom Day including the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize Gala Dinner on 3 May 2017. For security and logistical reasons, all participants (academic conference and main event) MUST register via the dedicated WPFD 2017 website.

Details including WPFD 2017 main event’s agenda, practical information of the conference venue, and hotel accommodation will be made available on the official WPFD 2017 website as we move closer to the date.

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