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Signe Ivask

Dr; researcher/assistant professor at University of Tartu/Masaryk University

Journalists Journalism Self-censorship Attacks Hostility Journalism education

Since 2013, I have been studying the well-being of journalists, with a particular focus on their psychological health and reactions to negative stress and burnout. More recently, since 2017, my research has shifted towards the safety of journalists. I am interested not only in studying the safety of journalists themselves but also in examining the role of organizations in ensuring journalists are safe. In my research, I investigate various aspects of attacks on journalists, including how journalists are attacked, the content of those attacks, counterparts of attacks, and the consequences of attacks on journalists and journalism. Additionally, over the last two years, I have been researching what and how to teach future journalists at universities.

Definition of journalists' safety

Journalists' safety can be defined as the physical and psychological protection of journalists from harm while carrying out their work, which includes gathering and reporting news and information, investigating and exposing wrongdoing, and analyzing and commenting on current events. This includes protection from physical violence, threats, harassment, and intimidation, as well as ensuring the psychological well-being of journalists who may be exposed to traumatic events or chronic stress. It also involves providing the necessary tools, training, and resources to help journalists mitigate risks and navigate dangerous situations, as well as advocating for legal and policy reforms that promote and protect press freedom and the safety of journalists.

Future plans for research on journalists' safety

I am currently mapping the various forms of hostility that journalists face. My research is focused on understanding journalists' resilience against threats, attacks, and other forms of hostility. I am also exploring ways to better prepare journalists-in-training for the challenges they may encounter in their work. This includes investigating war correspondence preparation and aftermath, with a particular emphasis on the role that organizations play in supporting journalists in these situations. In addition, I am studying digital threats to journalists, such as online harassment, cyberattacks, and disinformation campaigns.
Research focuses:
Physical, Psychological, Digital, Legal
Methods used in research:
Surveys, Focus groups, Interviews, Qualitative content analysis, Ethnography
Countries of research focus:
Estonia, Czech Republic

Areas interested in collaborating with other researchers

safety, resilience, correspondence, well-being, journalism education, hostility, attacks, digital threats