Conference on Safety of Journalists Holds on  World Press Freedom Day

Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice-chancellor, University of Ghana
Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice-chancellor, University of Ghana

The School of Information and Communication Studies, University of Ghana is calling for submission of research abstracts for a one-day academic conference on the Safety of Journalists scheduled to hold on May 3, 2018 as part of the global celebration of World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) 2018.

The third of its kind, the 2018 edition of the conference welcomes papers and policy-relevant research on all aspects of safety of journalists, impunity for crimes against journalists, safety of journalists and governance and justice, especially topics relating to: systemic failure in the  rule of law and impunity for crimes against journalists; national mechanisms and their effectiveness for the prevention of violence against journalists, protection of journalists, and monitoring and prosecution of attacks; gender-based threats and sexual harassment in the media; motivation for attacks against journalists and types of perpetrators; digital aspects of journalists’ safety; safety of journalists covering sensitive cultural issues (e.g. ethnic contestation, chieftaincy, LGBTQI); photo/video journalism and safety; and working conditions and the protection of journalists.

Additionally, the conference will, for the first time, accommodate a Policy Lab organized in partnership with the Global Development Network. This special session which  centres  around the topic: “National mechanisms for prevention, protection against and prosecution of violence against journalists: emerging models and their effectiveness” will be organized on the morning of May 4, 2018 and will offer a unique opportunity for high-quality interactions between researchers and policy actors who work on the  same issue.

The Policy Lab has  two main outcomes: research agendas of direct interest to policy constituencies on a specific issue; and the creation of an early demand for research findings amongst potential users in policy and practice. Therefore, the Lab offers researchers an opportunity to engage with potential users of their research, exposing researchers to the kind of answers policy actors need at a time when research questions are still being defined; and to include policy actors in the process of discussion and definition of research priorities, sensitizing them to the potential contribution of research to their work.

For the Conference, abstracts of a maximum of 300 words should be submitted by February 15, 2018 to the following email addresses:, or, cc. Invitations to attend will be issued by March 4, 2018; while the deadline for submission of full paper is April 18, 2018.

For the Policy Lab, short synopses of research on relevant topics related to protection of journalists which the interested researchers are currently developing and which could benefit from feedback from policy makers are to be submitted by February 15, 2018 to:, or, cc. Invitations to attend will be issued by March 4, 2018.

A closed number of participants will be selected on a competitive basis to take part in the Policy Lab, by UNESCO, the Global Development Network and the University of Ghana, based on the relevance of their research and planned work to the topic.

The School of Information and Communication Studies, University of Ghana is organising the conference in collaboration with the UNESCO. The theme of the WPFD 2018 is “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law.”