Since 2013, International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) is commemorated on November 2 to raise awareness of the danger of impunity for crimes committed against journalists. This IDEI seeks to raise awareness of the important role that journalists play during election times by providing credible, fact-based reports.

As part of IDEI, the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM), based in the School of Journalism, Media and Communication at the University of Sheffield, will host an online panel on Wednesday 1 November at 1pm UK Time focusing on ‘journalism safety during elections’. The panel will have the opportunity to discuss safety issues journalists face during elections, how they handle these safety issues and what could be done to try and mitigate the dangers they face.

Please email CFOM’s Impact Fellow, Dr Gemma Horton, if you would like to attend the event: 

Our Panel 

Anna Averkiou is an international journalist, media consultant and trainer, specialising in strategy and reputation management. She draws on more than 30 years’ experience working for a number of global news organisations including the BBC, CNN, AP and Reuters – and ran bureaux in Moscow and Sarajevo. She is also a part-time journalism tutor and Advisor on Media Engagement to The Security Institute and has written on the role of law enforcement agents in ensuring the safety of journalists during public demonstrations and elections for UNESCO.

Mariam Gersamia is a media psychologist, professor at Tbilisi State University (Georgia), head of Master Program “Media Psychology and Communications”, founder of non-governmental organization “Media Voice” and media program manager at Transparency International Georgia. 

Patrick Mutahi is the Media and Protection Consultant at ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa. He runs the media and protection programme, which includes supporting journalists at risk because of their work. 

Fiona O’Brien is the UK Director for Reporters Without Borders, known internationally as Reporters sans frontières (RSF), which works for the freedom, pluralism and independence of the press. She was previously a foreign correspondent in Africa and the Middle East, and course director of the MA in Journalism at Kingston University.

Elodie Vialle is a journalist and an Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, specializing in escalation channels for journalists and human rights defenders facing attacks on social media. She also serves as a Senior Advisor on Digital Safety and Free Expression at PEN America. Prior to that, she was a Fellow at the Institute for Rebooting Social Media, a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan, and the Head of the Technology Desk at Reporters without Borders. She began her career as a TV journalist.

Lucy Westcott became director of the Committee to Protect Journalist’s (CPJ) Emergencies Department in October 2021. She oversees CPJ’s assistance and safety work worldwide. Westcott joined CPJ in 2018 as the James W. Foley Fellow. During her fellowship, she focused on safety issues for women journalists in non-hostile environments and assisted with the creation of safety resources for journalists globally. In 2021, she played a prominent role in CPJ’s response to the Afghan crisis, including helping Afghan journalists and their families evacuated to Qatar. Prior to joining CPJ, Westcott was a staff writer for Newsweek, where she covered gender and immigration. She has reported for outlets including The Intercept, Bustle, The Atlantic, and Women Under Siege, and was a United Nations correspondent for the Inter Press Service.