Panel One Recordings 

Harassment of journalists in India between 2018-2023

Sreelakshmi Pradeep

Christ (Deemed to be University)

Being the fourth pillar of democracy, media personnels have the responsibility to oversee the working of the government and public in general and present/inform the same to the public in the most unbiased way possible. However, while disseminating information especially on controversial incidents, they tend to face rejections from those whose interests/views do not incline with that of the journos thus they feel their interests are not considered/compromised  causing them to express their anguish against the former in means that are not acceptable . The method of displaying this discontent in inappropriate ways causing negative psychological effect on the journalists is called online harassment of journalists.Media Professionals endure disproportionate and targeted challenges, as well as increased real and online attacks of various forms including doxing, threats, trolling, exclusions, impersonations, comments, etc.  Following such online harassment journalists are subject to various traumas such as PTSD, depression and anxiety. This prevalence of online harassment against media professionals, especially journalists has been recorded by various researchers over the years. While this topic has been highly researched in the West, the presence of literature to support the same in India is questionable thus calling for the immediate attention to the topic since the cases of violence against journalists in india has reached an exorbitant number of 256 incident during the period of May 2019 to August 2021. The above-mentioned are the number of incidents that were ‘reported’, while those that are not documented still remain unaccounted for. Additionally,  India’s Press Freedom Index falling from 147th to 150th position out of 180 countries as of 2022 highlights the significance of this research to be conducted. Through combining discourse analysis and content analysis, this research attempts to study what has happened in terms of harassment of journalists during the time frame of 2018 to 2023 by analyzing content and understanding the language and its intricacies to identify the kind of trolling and the instances that caused the same in order to map the peak time when these forms of online harassment boomed and present the results in the form of a commentary paper. 

Negotiating the Margins: Lessons on Digital Safety from Journalists in Selected Kenyan Sub-National Governments 

Jesse Masai, Mbugua Muchoki, Vitalis Mukami, Esther Muthoni, Susan Watiri, John Wanyeki, Jesse Wang’ombe, Phillip Githaiga, Juddy Bisem

Nyandarua County Government and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Away from Kenya’s media capital, Nairobi, most sub-national governments are increasingly being regarded as havens for harassing journalists, sometimes fueled by false online dialogues.  This paper investigates the phenomenon of online harassment facing journalists plying their trade within Kenya’s devolved units, focusing on how they apply their gatekeeping role to combat the menace.  As chroniclers of the East African nation’s second experiment with devolved governments since 2013, their role in drafting the country’s democratic history cannot be overemphasized. 

Kenya’s 47 counties are important as a case study because they are not only anchored in the country’s Constitution, but also represent the widest possible extent of the population. Further, they harbor some of the nation’s most vibrant media scenes, with each of the mainstream media outlets attempting to maintain a dedicated presence per devolved unit.  Are the journalists cognizant of their agency in moderating a sometimes contested media space?  How are they combating online harassment?  What do their interventions tells us about the future of journalism safety in majority poor contexts?  The researchers anchor their study on the agenda-setting theory.  They propose to use a descriptive research design.  They also propose to use self-administered questionnaires among the journalists. 

Keywords: Kenya; online harassment; devolved units; media; sub-national governments; journalists; counties 

Digital Authoritarianism and Egyptian Journalists/Activists’ Resistance to Governmental Internet Censorship 

Rasha El-Ibiary

Political Mass Media Department, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Future University in Egypt

As the Egyptian government has blocked over 500 websites with content deemed objectionable since 2017 (Freedom of Thought and Expression, 2022), using the concept of Digital Authoritarianism, this research analyses how journalists/activists, owners and managers of blocked websites use various mechanisms to resist the blocking. 

Since approving and implementing the Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes Law and the Media Regulation Law in 2018, the Egyptian government can now regulate and restrict online freedom of expression. The Supreme Council for Media Regulations has the power to put citizens with more than 5,000 followers on social media under state supervision, blocking or suspending their accounts (Muslim, 2019). These laws legalize the blocking of 549 websites in Egypt, including news/media outlets, representing 62% of blocked websites, human rights groups, political sites, and services for circumventing censorship (Janssen, 2021).

Conducting in-depth interviews with Egyptian journalists/activists, owners and managers of blocked websites, this research aims to find out (1) how they resist governmental censorship, as a counter activism mechanism, using social media and circumvention tools to bypass the blocking; (2) what are the business models they use to adopt to the financial problems they face as a result of the blocking; and (3) their vision for the current status and future of media activism in Egypt. 


Dragu, T. & Lupu, Y. (2020) Digital Authoritarianism and the Future of Human Rights. International Organization, 75 (4): 991-1017

Muslim, C. (2019). Shifting dynamics of safe spaces for women in revolutionary and post-revolutionary Egypt: A reflection on the article “We are not women, we are Egyptians.” African Journal of Gender and Religion, 25(2), 152–170. doi:10.14426/ajgr.v25i2.884

 Janssen, D. (2021). Censorship in Egypt: Here is how to reclaim your online freedom. Retrieved from

Online Media Journalists in Indonesia: Between High Demands and Lack of Understanding and Training

Samiaji Bintang Nusantara and Ingki Rinaldi

Multimedia Nusantara University (UMN)

The development of online media in Indonesia has been increasing since 1998. Society increasingly relies on the internet and online media to meet their needs for information, social control practices, education, and entertainment. However, this trend is not yet accompanied by an increase in the abilities and capacities of journalists. Additionally, relatively few journalists in Indonesia understand how to protect themselves in the virtual world, especially when reporting on sensitive topics.

Several universities with journalism programs have responded to this issue by offering courses on data journalism, digital fact-checking, and more. However, not all journalists are graduates of journalism programs, and many do not have formal journalism education. Relevant journalism training is also relatively rare and not typically attended by most journalists.

Even when journalists have received education or training in journalism, significant pressure tends to cause some Indonesian journalists to “forget” what they have learned. A survey by the Indonesian Association of Online Media (2021) found that most journalists in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, are expected to produce 15 news articles per day. Outside Jakarta, the largest proportion (21.7 percent) of journalists is expected to produce 10 news articles in one day. This fact makes the processes of deep, critical thinking and producing independent attitudes toward various covered issues difficult to practice.

This is further compounded by the challenges of developing technology, including artificial intelligence-related news production. Issues such as privacy, copyright, and digital security are becoming increasingly important to understand.

On the other hand, the Journalistic Code of Ethics that was agreed upon by 29 press organizations in Indonesia on March 14, 2006, and established by the Press Council, has yet to accommodate some of the challenges mentioned above.