Wednesday, October 9
Workshop 3. A Hostile Environment: Surviving Journalism
Wednesday, October 9
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Room 372-374, CSU's Lory Student Center


  • Dale Willman (Emcee) Resilience Science Journalism Fellowship - CUNY


Pre-registration and $60 fee required. Breakfast and lunch included. SEJ members and journalists only. Sign up here (you'll need your log-in information or to create a profile).

Staying safe while doing your job is no longer just for those reporters who work in war zones. In recent years domestic reporters have been arrested, and sometimes injured, simply by doing their job – covering pipeline protests, police activities and even covering Trump rallies. And these aren’t the only threats we now face. Even if you work at your desk, the risk of on-line harassment continues to grow. This workshop will offer you basic skills and tips on surviving harassment and staying safe, even under the worst of circumstances. We'll also discuss how efforts to foment distrust in the media are increasing the risks journalists face, and what we can do to rebuild trust.


8:00-8:30 a.m.    Breakfast, Workshop Registration

8:30-9:00 a.m.    Welcome, Introduction

9:00 a.m.-Noon    Reporting Safely
Journalist safety while covering a major crisis has always been important. But today safety concerns are sometimes present even in stories that in the past were considered safe. More and more, journalists are becoming targets. What can you do to be safer in your work? A freelance journalist who works with Columbia University and the Dart Center will discuss model risk assessment. Participants will be walked through how to respond to a number of different types of threats, and we'll discuss covering civil unrest and dealing with aggressive authorities, all while remaining safe.

Speaker: Judith Matloff, Freelance Journalist, Author and Adjunct Faculty, Columbia Journalism School

9:00-10:30 a.m.    Physical Safety
10:30-10:40 a.m.  Break
10:40 a.m.-Noon   Physical Safety, Pt. 2

Noon-12:40 p.m.    Keynote: Rebuilding Trust in the Media
Some of the threats and harassment that journalists face are driven by a deep mistrust and contempt for news media. But around the world, a free press is the foundation of democratic societies. To protect journalists — and our democracy — we need to understand the roots of this distrust. The Society of Professional Journalists launched The Casper Project to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons so many people distrust news organizations and their reporting. Join SPJ's Journalist on Call for a presentation and discussion on steps we can take to increase trust and make journalism — and democracy — safer for all.

Speaker: Rod Hicks, Journalist on Call, Society of Professional Journalists

12:40-1:30 p.m.    Panel Discussion: Safety in the Field

Moderator: Dale Willman, Freelance Newscaster, Program Director, NPR, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

Gloria Dickie, Freelance Journalist
Emily Gertz, Journalist, Entrepreneur and Member, SEJ Freedom of Information Task Force
Rod Hicks, Journalist on Call, Society of Professional Journalists
Additional Speakers TBA

1:30-3:30 p.m.    Online Safety
In response to the growing threat that online hate and harassment pose to free expression, PEN America has developed a first-of-its-kind digital toolkit, the "Online Harassment Field Manual." The manual is based on extensive research and interviews with writers, journalists, technology experts, editors, newsrooms and advocacy groups. Join us for a training session filled with practical strategies and comprehensive resources to defend yourself against online harassment.

Speaker: Viktorya Vilk, Manager of Special Projects for Free Expression Programs, PEN America


SPJ Casper Project:

>> Safety and Security, Rory Peck Trust
>> Casper Project report
>> Project web page
>> 7-minute video explaining project
>> Forum featuring national journalists
>> Washington Post column on project

PEN America:

>> Online Harassment Field Manual
>> PEN's survey on impact of online abuse
>> Cybersecurity handout

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