Led by Professor Jackie Harrison, the UNESCO Chair on Media Freedom, Journalism Safety and the Issue of Impunity supports the international agenda to safeguard journalism and to prevent, protect and prosecute crimes against journalists through the production of high quality research, teaching and informed advocacy.
The Chair’s work is undertaken in recognition of the crucial role that access to reliable information plays when it comes to allowing members of the public to identify common concerns, form opinions freely and hold governments accountable. In the context of fostering sustainable development, access to information, as provided via journalism, facilitates the collective decision-making required to achieve goals such as eradicating poverty, protecting the environment, and achieving gender equality.
Journalism currently faces a wide range of geopolitical, technological, democratic and economic stresses combined with threats, attacks and forms of intimidation targeting its practitioners. The Chair acts as a bridgehead between academia, policy makers and other non-academic actors to build research capacity and facilitate knowledge exchange around these challenges and is leading the way in enabling academic input into the international stakeholder efforts on journalism safety and the issue of impunity.