Chair on Media Freedom, Journalism Safety and the Issue of Impunity

University of Sheffield – Professor Jackie Harrison

Home       >       Expert Network       >       Chairs

The University of Sheffield’s Chair on Media Freedom, Journalism Safety and the Issue of Impunity was established as a response to the urgent need to address attacks on journalism and journalists around the world.

The Chair is standing up for free and independent journalism by mobilising academia around the agenda to safeguard journalism in support of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals Agenda.

Chair Themes




Related Chair

UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication



“As UNESCO Chair on Media Freedom, Journalism Safety and the Issue of Impunity my aim is to marshal research driven knowledge as one means to counter those forces that target free and independent media and the safety of journalists and ultimately diminishes the communicative base of society.”

Professor Jackie Harrison

UNESCO Chairs are based within Institutes for Higher Education and specialise in specific research fields. They provide policy advice to the UK National Commission for UNESCO and HM government, as well as reviewing UNESCO applications.


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.

Professor Jackie Harrison

Jackie Harrison is Professor of Public Communication and Chair of the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) at the University of Sheffield. Her area of expertise is the civil role and influence of the news as she examines the issues of press freedom and the role that journalism plays in our wider society.

Her study is far-reaching and contributes greatly to the internationally renowned Journalism Safety Research Network. This global platform launched in 2016, at UNESCO’s academic Conference on the Safety of Journalists, and unites experts in order to advance academic collaboration on media freedom and make real change to journalism safeguarding.


University of Sheffield
Professor of Public Communication



Role at UNESCO

Chair in Media Freedom, Journalism Safety and the Issue of Impunity

Since 2018

Research & Events


Read about some of the projects that Professor Harrison has been a part of during her career.



In her role as chair, Jackie has disseminated her research and methods to the academic community and wider public through books, articles, exhibitions and throughout the media.