CIMA Releases Report on Survey of Journalists Security in the Digital World


The Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) released a report on the survey of journalist security in the digital world highlighting the effects of the advent of the digital world on journalism.

The survey was carried out among journalists around the world to ascertain the challenges they face with digital advancement – if they are conversant with the digital tools, if they apply it to their work/security, if the tools are reliable enough?

The report was aimed at improving the safety of journalists both physically as well as in digital spaces. The survey was carried out with help from international organizations such as the International Center for Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Women’s Media Foundation, International Research and Exchanges Board, Global Journalist Security, Article19, and the Open Tech Fund.

The survey was carried out online between August and the first two weeks of September 2015. A total of 154 journalists with expertise on issues affecting safety of journalist responded from North America, Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, and Africa.

Some of the questions asked during the survey include:

  • General use of digital tools for security

The result revealed that most journalists don’t use the digital tools as demonstrated by about 60% of respondents who do not make use of these tools in any situation. Regional differences show that journalists in North America and Europe use digital tools for security, more than their African counterparts.

  • Use of digital tools to protect communications (Encryption for telephone calls, e-mail, chats.)

The number of respondents that use at least one tool for this purpose was 30% – no journalist from Africa and Central Asia made use of these tools, only few from South Asia and the Middle East use digital tools while usage in North America and Western Europe was relatively high.

The statistics show that there is urgent need to protect online communications channels to prevent surveillance (disguise monitoring) and hacking carried out by governments in these regions.

Survey results show that journalists barely use digital tools due to lack of awareness of the benefits they can derive from these tools.  Journalists worldwide are exposed to physical and digital risks in the course of their work. Therefore, necessary measures and efforts need to be put in place to bridge the gap between digital tools for journalist and their enlightenment on the various risks encountered in their fields to curb such risk.

For more details on the report, refer to the link: Journalist Security in the Digital World: A Survey  or Download the full report here.