CPJ releases safety kit in response to risks identified by female journalists in US, Canada

New York, September 4, 2019—The Committee to Protect Journalists today released a collection of safety resources for female journalists. The package features an analysis of CPJ data from a survey of female and gender non-conforming journalists in the U.S. and Canada, an infographic, and specialized safety advice.

CPJ’s survey found that 85% of respondents believe journalists have become less safe in the past five years, and more than 70% have experienced safety issues or threats. Online harassment was identified as the biggest risk for female journalists. Other risks cited by respondents included physical threats and the psychological toll of harassment. The survey found female journalists are at risk even in countries not traditionally viewed as hostile to the press.

“CPJ’s research confirms that female and non-binary journalists face unique threats, and that these need to be taken seriously by editors and newsrooms,” said CPJ Emergencies Director Maria Salazar Ferro. “We intend for these tools to help women working in journalism to better think about risk and mitigation, and to be a means to combat challenges and feel safer.”

Results of the survey, conducted by CPJ James Foley Fellow Lucy Westcott, informed additions to CPJ’s Emergencies Response Team’s safety kit of resources for journalists. The safety notes include guidance on removing personal information from the internet to lessen the risk of being doxed, or having personal information published online; mitigating threats of sexual violence; information for journalists who work alone; and advice on psychosocial safety.

The package also includes reports on the dangers for broadcast journalists reporting alone and the need for better solutions to tackling online harassment.

The survey was distributed widely over five weeks via email, CPJ’s weekly newsletter The Torch, partner organizations, and social media. In total, 115 journalists—with experience ranging from six months to 37 years in journalism—responded.

For further resources on safety, see CPJ’s Emergencies Response Team Safety Kit

To editors:

CPJ experts are available for interview at [email protected]