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Journalists are frequently at risk of being harassed online in an attempt by hostile actors to intimidate or force them into silence. The harassment, most commonly directed at female journalists, often includes threats of violence against the journalist and their family and friends.
Journalists have long faced threats in reprisal for their work, and in the internet era, attackers can leverage information published on social media and professional websites to hack, abuse, shame, or defame their target.
Ask any female journalist about harassment or safety while on assignment and they’ll likely have a story to tell.
Stef Schrader was on vacation in Germany last year when spam messages started to flood her inbox. Seeing random emails from Macy’s—and job alerts for the position of “Chief Idiot”—she realized someone had signed her work email up to dozens of email lists.
Long before one of their photographers was harassed on election night in Brazil, the editors at Fortaleza newspaper O Povo were meeting with their readers and staff to discuss the increasingly polarized environment and how to deal with it.
Michael Edison Hayden was one of the first foreign journalists on the ground after the Nepalese earthquake in 2015– the “ground was still shaking” when he arrived, he said. He’s reported from the disputed territory between India and Pakistan in Kashmir, and gone door-to-door in Phoenix, searching for a mass killer. But, Hayden said, reporting…