A new UNESCO Research Discussion Paper entitled “The Chilling: Global trends in online violence against women journalists” finds that online violence has become the new frontline in journalism safety – and that women journalists sit at the epicentre of risk. The report finds that, “networked misogyny and gaslighting intersect with racism, religious bigotry, homophobia and other forms of discrimination to threaten women journalists – severely and disproportionately (…)  [while] also increasingly spilling offline, sometimes with devastating consequences”.

The report, authored by Julie Posetti (CFOM), Nabeelah Shabbir, Diana Maynard (CFOM), Kalina Bontcheva (CFOM) and Nermine Aboulez  was published on 30 April during the 2021 World Press Freedom Day celebrations. The paper is as an output of a wider UNESCO-commissioned global study on online violence against women journalists, with a full-length study to be published in mid-2021.

The underpinning research is lead by the International Center for Journalists in collaboration with the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) and a global team of researchers.