The Department of Journalism Studies and the Centre for Freedom of the Media  (CFOM) are delighted to announce that this year’s International Journalism Week (IJW) will be held on 6th– 10th November 2017 at the University of Sheffield. The theme this year is “Journalism in High Risk Environments” and we look forward to welcoming a high-profile line-up of international guest speakers from organisations such as Channel 4, ITN, Reuters Moscow, The Guardian, the Press Association, Reporters Sans Frontières, BBC, INSI, PEN International and many others.

IJW aims to reinforce CFOM’s educational goals by inviting young and future journalists from within the department to attend a series of talks by practitioners, researchers and educators and participate in a series of activities and workshops over the course of the week. The students will gain valuable insights into the dangers faced by those working in media in high-risk environments and also into the numerous national and international organisations which campaign for freedom of speech and work for the protection of both journalism and journalists.

The risk and safety theme which threads through International Journalism Week is closely associated with UNESCO’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI 2017) which is commemorated annually on 2 November. According to UNESCO, high rates of impunity for violent crimes against journalists is a key factor in creating conditions of danger for journalists. IJW will raise students’ awareness of this not only through the talks, many of which will focus on justice and the effective prosecution of crimes and attacks against journalism, but also by inviting them to enter an individual writing competition on the theme “Beyond the Flak Jacket: what should news organisations take into account when sending journalists into hostile environments?” Entries will be judged by professional journalists and members of the department’s academic staff and the winners will be offered visits to top media organisations as prizes. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in the hugely popular and successful Student Challenge. For this, they will conduct group research into either the difficulties faced by journalism in a chosen country or the role played by chosen organisations in campaigning for, and protecting, freedom of expression. They will present their findings to a panel of journalists and academics.

Professor Jackie Harrison, joint Head of Department and Chair of CFOM said, “At a time when violence and attacks against journalists and media workers are continuing to intensify, there is no better moment to raise awareness amongst our young journalists about the dangers facing their future profession. Combatting impunity and strengthening accountability is an essential task facing us all and International Journalism Week provides the ideal forum to consider such vital challenges.

For more information please contact Dr Emma Heywood, Department of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield at

Follow what’s happening during the week on Twitter at #ijw17 and at CFOM official account @CFOMsheff