Resources for journalists covering sporting events

Croatia’s players pose with medals after winning the Qatar 2022 World Cup football third place play-off match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on December 17, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Anne-Christine Poujoulat)

CPJ has compiled resources to help journalists covering sporting events minimize risks and protect themselves against potential threats.

Sports journalists face unique threats based on their reporting subject and environment. Journalists covering stories of corruption and sexual abuse within the sporting world are at particular risk for increased threats or online harassment. Journalists traveling to other countries for sporting events need evaluate the risks they face as international journalists, including surveillance and arrest. Journalists on the ground at an event may experience violent crowds or assault. Attacks on sports journalists are especially acute for those of marginalized genders.

Journalists should research the culture and environment of an event and complete a risk assessment prior to going on assignment to prepare for potential threats.

CPJ is a core partner of the Sport & Rights Alliance which works to embed human rights and anti-corruption across world sport. Learn more here.

Safety resources

Basic preparedness: Risk assessment

By completing a written risk assessment, journalists can document the dangers they may be exposed to, assess how to mitigate those risks, and create a contingency plan.

Available in: Français | Português | Español | Русский | Українська | 中文 | العربية | ဗမာစာ

Physical and digital safety: Civil disorder

This guide contains recommendations to mitigate risks when reporting in locations affected by crowd violence.

Available in: Français | Español | Русский | Português | 中文 (简体) | हिन्दीਪੰਜਾਬੀ | فارسیဗမာစာ | العربية | Українська සිංහල | தமிழ் | اردو | Hebrew | বাংলা

Safety videos for journalists covering unrest

Available in: العربية

Physical safety: Solo reporting

Working alone can make journalists vulnerable to physical assault. This safety note contains recommendations to mitigate risk when on assignment alone.

Available in: Português

Digital Safety Kit

This kit is designed to be a starting point for journalists looking to increase their digital safety. Journalists traveling to another country to cover a sporting event should prepare their devices and research potential digital security threats in the host country.

Available in: EspañolFrançaisРусскийPortuguêsالعربيةAfsoomaaliአማርኛဗမာစာУкраїнськаفارسی |  پښتوनेपाली | বাংলা

Digital security: Risk assessment template

This two-part assessment form is designed to help journalists think about how to mitigate digital risk in both their everyday life and when covering a particular story. Journalists should complete a risk assessment before going on assignment.

Resources for protecting against online abuse

CPJ has compiled resources intended to help journalists better prepare for or cope with online harassment. Many journalists face online abuse after reporting on sporting events or sports figures.

Physical safety: Mitigating sexual violence

Nothing can completely guarantee a journalist’s safety, and sexual misconduct is never the fault of the victim. This guide contains some steps to help minimize the risk of violence while on assignment.

If you are a journalist and would like to speak with someone about threats you are facing, please email [email protected]

For additional safety information, you can text CPJ’s automated chatbot on WhatsApp at +1 206 590 6191.

More on: Sporting event safety