Journalism Safety Research Network Seeks Applications for Co-Leads for Regional Working Groups on Journalism Safety

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Prof. Jackie Harrison
Chair and Co-Founder of CEOM

The Journalism Safety Research Network (JSRN), hosted by the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) in the Department of Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, is seeking applications for its regional co-leads to form regional working groups (RWGs) focused on journalism safety issues.

The JSRN is a global network with over 200 researchers from more than 50 countries around the world whose aim is to contribute towards the development of joint spaces for research co-operation and innovation by enabling the sharing of knowledge and expertise, as well as proposing wider suggestions for understanding and addressing the complex issues associated with journalism safety.

It serves to facilitate the exchange of ideas, publications and networking opportunities through conferences, seminars and workshops as well as the development of research agendas and policy proposals.

The JSRN also seeks to present and promote academic voices in the context of the development of international policy agendas on journalism safety and the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

Following the conclusion of the 2022 Academic Consultation on the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (UNAP), the Global Academic Community (GAC) highlighted the importance of hosting events to exchange knowledge on journalism safety issues in regions across the world. In their Outcome Document, UNESCO highlighted this recommendation, noting the importance of an interconnective approach between stakeholders.

The regional co-leads of the RWG will be involved in implementing the recommendation.

The RWGs will provide a space for members to connect and network and is intended to support the building of research capacity and quality while aiming to strengthen the community of researchers working on issues of safety across the different regions of the world. The aim of the RWGs is also that these develop into platforms that facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange between academics as well as between academic researchers and non-academic actors including representatives from civil society organisations and policy makers. 

JSRN is seeking regional co-leads in different regions from around the world to head up a RWG. Regions will include Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, MENA, Western Europe and North America. Two co-leads per RWG will be appointed. The role is voluntary and not remunerated. 

The role of the co-leads will be to take a leading role in developing terms of reference, together with the RWG membership, when it comes to the aims of the working group and its activities; convening regular meetings of the RWG (online); and taking an active role in continuously expanding the RWG membership.

  • The main responsibilities of the co-leads include:
  • Organise online meetings with members of their RWG (at least four a year)
  • Provide summaries of RWG meetings that take place for members by taking minutes
  • Liaise with members of the RWG
  • Collate research evidence from their RWG to contribute towards a JSRN newsletter and communicate with the JSRN secretariat at the Centre for Freedom of the Media 
  • Attend two online meetings a year with other RWG co-leads and collaborate with other RWG leads to develop joint initiatives within the JSRN

Interested applicants should please submit a 300-word expression of interest stating why they wish to apply for the position and how it aligns with their own research. Applicants should also send a short CV (1-2 pages) outlining their relevant experience and publications. Applications both from established and Early Career Researchers as well as from researchers within civil society organisations and institutions are encouraged.

Applicants should please include the region they are applying for and submit their application to cfom@sheffield.ac.uk by March 10, 2023. Applicants should be willing to commit to the role for up to one year.

For further information on how to apply, please email both Dr Gemma Horton, Impact Fellow for the Centre for Freedom of the Media (gemma.horton@sheffield.ac.uk) and Dr Sara Torsner (s.k.torsner@sheffield.ac.uk).