Literature Database

During the 2022 Academic Consultation on the UNPA, CFOM conducted a literature stocktake to scope out the academic literature published in the area of media freedom, journalism safety and impunity. CFOM has collated this literature and has produced a database containing this information. The database has been organised by themes or countries for accessibility. A database on UNESCO publications and Council of Europe publications has also been established. A database has also been organised focusing on work conducted by Civil Society Organisations.

The databases are continuously being updated. If you would like yours or your organisations work to be added to the database please email:


The database has been organised by the following themes and the literature can be accessed by clicking on the link to the selected database. In certain cases, papers are in more than one database. For example, online harassment of female journalists can be found in both digital threats and gender-specific safety issues. 


Academic literature focusing on impunity includes analysing the impacts that this has on journalism, alongside who the perpetrators of attacks are and why they are not held to account for the attacks they carry out. Click here to access the database

Gender-Specific Safety Issues

In this category, publications focus on how women journalists are more at risk than their male counterparts when reporting in certain environments, such as during war and conflict. Studies have also focused on women being subjected to workplace harassment, online harassment and inequality. Click here to access the database

Digital Threats

The focus of this theme is on the relationship between developing technology and the safety challenges this poses for journalists, including online harassment, online surveillance and digital shutdowns, amongst other things. Click here to access the database

Workplace Safety and Working Conditions

This database concerns publications examining the workplace safety of journalists and how this can impact their working conditions. Examples include ownership impacting their working conditions. Journalism safety training is also included within this category as an important feature to keep journalists safe in their workplace. Click here to access the database

Emotional Wellbeing of Journalists

The focus of this database concerns the emotional wellbeing of journalists and recognises that the work they undertake can impact their mental health. This can be in relation to the every-day images they see in their work alongside when working on dangerous assignments. Click here to access the database

Monitoring and Networks

Academic literature in this database focuses on the importance that monitoring can play in collecting data on journalism safety and the need for extensive collection of data on violations against journalists. This can often be achieved through networks working together. Click here to access the database

Legal Issues and Human Rights

This database concerns legal issues, such as repressive laws and laws being used to target journalists and prevent them from doing their work. It also considers the role of international humanitarian law (IHL) in protecting journalists. Click here to access the database

War and Conflict

Focus in this database is on journalism safety during times of war and conflict. Click here to access the database


In certain countries, COVID-19 provided a catalyst for access to information to be withheld. The pandemic was also a safety concern for journalists working during that time. Click here to access the database

The Role of Academia and Other Organisations

This database concerns the role that academia plays in raising awareness of journalism safety issues. It also concerns other organisations’ role in this, including those from civil society organisations and UNESCO. Click here to access the database

Country and Region-Specific Safety Issues

This database lists academic literature by region and then by country. Click here to access the database

Other Journalism Safety Issues

Publications that do not have a particular theme/country focus can be found here. For example, articles concerning an overview of journalism safety and media freedom issues can be found here.


This database lists publications from UNESCO and includes reports, books and outcome documents. Click here to access the database

Council of Europe

This database contains reports, notes and papers published by the Council of Europe. Click here to access. 

Civil Society Organisations

This database includes publications from Civil Society Organisations such as Pen-America, Freedom House and Article 19. It includes reports and training manuals. Click here to access the database. Please email if you would like your organisation to be added to the database. 

Reports, Working Papers and Policy Briefs

Here you can find publications from think-tanks, universities and research centres including notes, statements, reports and working papers. Click here to access the database