This Module explores how the practice of journalism has been defined and protected by international and regional law and bodies, from the rejection of licensing to the protection of journalistic sources, and including self-regulation. Many of the readings also address the impact of the digital revolution on journalism and present the conflicts on such questions as to who is a journalist.

8 items found, showing 11 - 8
Author: Teresa Ribeiro
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The document underscores the significant negative impact such technology can have on media freedom within the OSCE region.

"The Representative concluded that the implementation of stringent measures is vital. This includes mandating effective and binding prior authorization of any surveillance on a journalist granted by an independent authority under judicial control. Additionally, such surveillance must be limited in duration and scope, and applicable only to the most severe offenses. Utilizing digital surveillance technology should be carefully justified and integrated into a robust rule-of-law framework, accompanied by a meaningful redress mechanism."

Teresa Ribeiro. 'Communiqué by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media On the Use of Digital Surveillance Technology on Journalists'. 2023.


Author: IACtHR
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“[T]he Government of Costa Rica […] submitted to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights […] an advisory opinion request relating to the interpretation of Articles 13 [Freedom of thought and expression] and 29 [Restrictions Regarding Interpretation] of the American Convention on Human Rights […] as they affect the compulsory membership in an association prescribed by law for the practice of journalism […]. The request also sought the Court's interpretation relating to the compatibility of Law No. 4420 of September 22, 1969, Organic Law of the Colegio de Periodistas (Association of Journalists) of Costa Rica […], with the provisions of the aforementioned articles.”

IACtHR, Compulsory Membership in an Association Prescribed by Law for the Practice of Journalism. Advisory Opinion OC-5/85. Series A, No. 5. 13 November 1985

Author: Stephen Martin Kohn
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The chapter on Legal Principles in Whistleblower Laws provides the basic legal principles surrounding protection of whistleblowers in USA.

Stephen M. Kohn. Concepts and Procedures in Whistleblower Law. Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 2001.

Author: Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova, Jyotika Ramaprasad, Nina Springer, Sallie Hughes, Thomas Hanitzsch, Basyouni Hamada, Abit Hoxha, Nina Steindl
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The article published in Digital Journalism, responds to the variety of threats that journalists are subjected to - surveillance, cyberattacks, gendered targeting, hate speech, and many others. The article offers an interdisciplinary framework of journalists’ safety, summarizing it in a conceptual model. The authors look at journalists’ safety through two dimensions: 1) personal (physical, psychological) and 2) infrastructural (digital, financial). The authors see safety on objective and subjective levels and argue “[i]t is moderated by individual (micro), organizational/institutional (meso), and systemic (macro) risk factors, rooted in power dynamics defining boundaries for journalists’ work, which, if crossed, result in threats and create work-related stress.” The article then examines the consequences of work-related stress: While in an ideal scenario stress leads to resilience, compromised safety can provoke journalists’ “exit from the profession” and thus undermine journalism as an institution. 


Vera SlavtchevaPetkova, Jyotika Ramaprasad, Nina Springer, Sallie Hughes, Thomas Hanitzsch, Basyouni Hamada, Abit Hoxha & Nina Steindl (2023) Conceptualizing Journalists’ Safety around the Globe, Digital Journalism, 11:7, 1211-1229, DOI: 10.1080/21670811.2022.2162429

Author: Rosario Soraide
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This report is the result of in-depth research and the conclusions from 20 interviews with professionals with expertise in media freedom, artistic freedom, and the defense of human rights advocates and artists. It compares the safeguards and procedures in place to defend the legal rights of journalists and artists in urgent situations. The study's overarching objective is to promote collaborations between groups that support the safety of artists and journalists. While highlighting ways in which cooperation could be advantageous to both the advocacy communities focused, respectively, on artistic and media freedom, it suggests concrete action to expand protection for artists' safety in crises, learning from the advanced movement for the protection of journalists. 

Rosario Soraide. 'Defending creative voices: artists in emergencies, learning from the safety of journalists'. 2023.

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Dirk Voorhoof
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In this segment of the MOOC 'Freedom of Expression in the Age of Globalizationcreated by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Dirk Voorhoff illustrates by referring to some judgments how the European Court have succeeded to protect whistleblowers, to protect investigative journalists, to protect sources of journalists, also in areas which are normally considered very sensitive and very difficult to create transparency.

Author: UNESCO, Tarlach McGonagle, Maciek Bednarski, Mariana Francese Coutinho, and Arthur Zimin.
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“Digital companies are enabling politicians, political parties and voters to communicate in unprecedented ways, and expanding opportunities for seeking, receiving and imparting political information and ideas. Alongside positive developments, there also growing concerns about emerging and increasing threats to the integrity and credibility of elections, as well as the media’s contribution to free, fair, transparent and peaceful electoral processes. This report highlights three converging trends in media and elections in digital times: 1) the rise of disinformation, 2) intensifying attacks on journalists, and 3) disruptions linked to the use of information and communication technology in electoral arrangements. Offering possible responses to the challenges at hand, this study is a tool for governments, election practitioners, media organizations, journalists, civil society, the private sector, academia and individuals.” This issue brief on ‘Elections and Media in Digital Times’ is part of the UNESCO In Focus series ‘World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development’.

UNESCO, Tarlach McGonagle et. al. “Elections and Media in Digital Times”. 2019.

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression
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Here you will find the Syllabus for the MOOC 'Freedom of Expression in the Age of Globalization' created by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression. This course will examine the norms, institutions and forces that altogether have founded a global system of protection for freedom of expression and information. This Advanced  Course will focus on the multiple challenges brought about by the technology revolution of the last two decades. On one hand, it has given the world the means to realize its commitment to freedom of information without frontiers. Technology has shaped, reshaped, and radically transformed the production and distribution of information, profoundly impacting whole societies and greatly influencing, if not defining, information and communication. On the other hand, it has also precipitated or heightened a range of normative, regulatory and political issues related to the protection of freedom of expression, on and off line. This course will examine the complex, and often awkward, interplay of global information flows with national jurisdiction and state sovereignty, and what it means for the realization of a borderless vision for the right to freedom of expression.