On-line hate and threats have become a reality for many women journalists. What makes this kind of harassment so particular is that the threats are usually not based on what the women journalists report, but by the mere fact that they are women. As in any case where journalists and media are attacked, it can lead to self-censorship and lack of investigative journalism, which poses a danger to democracy and in the long run may lead to closed societies.
The Fojo Media Institute and The Swedish Institute of International Affairs have now been given a mission by the Swedish Government to assess the possibilites to set up an internatonal digital center to promote free and open media climate. The center will gather knowledge about threats and on-line hate, assisting media houses and journalists to counter harassment and find routines for analyzing and managing threats, not least by networking.
At the first stage, the Center would be implemented as pilot projects, targeting a few newsrooms in five different countries. During this pilot period, methods of managing on-line hate and threats against female journalists would be tested and evaluated.