Panel Two 

Examining Digital Threats Against Marginalized Women Journalists: A case study of Bangladesh and Nepal 

Samiksha Koirala (presenting author) and Harisur Rahman 

North South University

 In recent years, digital technologies have expanded and created new spaces where women, girls, and people from the marginal community can exercise their right to freedom of expression and information. However, these spaces have also created new opportunities for gender-based harassment and abuse that often lead to offline discrimination and inequality. 

In a country like Bangladesh and Nepal where the digital world is still a new phenomenon, harassment and abuse of the Internet fail to draw attention, more so when it’s about marginalized communities. According to a survey report of “Violence Online In India: Cybercrimes Against Women & Minorities on Social Media,” women in India have trouble thinking about the attacks they experience on social media platforms as “violent.” 

Bangladesh and Nepal are culturally-diverse countries and the number of women journalists from ethnic groups (for example Chakma in Bangladesh) and Dalit (so-called untouchables) communities is nominal. Challenges to the profession like digital harassment can push them further and silence the voices of women from marginal communities. 

The study aims to examine the experiences of online harassment of marginalized women journalists in Bangladesh and Nepal. It is also concerned about the impact of harassment on their work and their strategies to overcome the threats. It will provide an overview through four different case studies based on qualitative in-depth interviews of two Nepali and two Bangladesh women journalists from the marginal community. Theoretically, this chapter draws on intersectional feminism in the border context of other feminist theories, media, and technology. 

 Keywords: Bangladesh, Digital Threats, Gender, Marginal Community, Nepal, Safety of Journalists

Knowledge, attitude, and practice of digital threats among online Journalists in Kano State, Nigeria

Lauratu Umar Abdulsalam

Mass Communication Department, University of Abuja

Journalists face a wide range of difficulties worldwide, including censorship, violence, and a quickly evolving media environment. As more individuals use internet resources to acquire news and information, journalists are becoming more vulnerable to hacking, phishing attacks, online harassment, and digital monitoring. Internet safety is becoming important in media practitioner education and offers journalists a space where they can practice their right to free speech. Therefore, this paper examines the extent Journalists attitudes, and practice exposes them to online threats. The paper aimed at examining the level of awareness of digital threats and the mechanism adopted by online journalists in responding to such digital threat in Kano State.

The study used a survey research design, a questionnaire as the data collection instrument, and was based on critical media theory. Data were collected from 250 people using simple random sampling and analysed using Google forms. The study’s findings revealed that most online journalists in Kano State are aware of digital threats and have devised mechanisms to protect themselves against such threats, such as not opening attachments and links on emails text from strangers, using strong passwords, VPNs end-to-end encryption, and so on. Female journalists were shown to be more vulnerable to sexual harassment, including gender harassment, unwelcome sexual attention, and online intimidation, than their male counterparts.

Keywords: Digital Threats; Journalism; Technology