Every May 3rd, journalists around the world celebrate World Press Freedom Day. It is a day set aside to honour the right to free speech and to advocate for journalists who have been jailed or suffered state-sanctioned repression whilst doing their jobs.
This year, Document Women’s co-founder and Creative Director Kiki Mordi, hosted a panel on the online violence women journalists are exposed to. This she did in Uruguay under the International Center for Journalism(ICJ) and for UNESCO in Uruguay. It was part of a virtual conference curated to celebrate World Press Freedom Day.
Ms Mordi was the moderator for a panel called “Newsroom Responses To Online Violence Against Women Journalists”. Other panelists include Glenda Gloria, the executive editor at Rappler; Julissa Mantilla Falcon, President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Branko Brkic, the editor-in-chief at Daily Maverick.
Online violence refers to acts of violence that take place in the virtual and internet space. Some examples include cyberbullying, doxxing, threats and revenge porn.
For women journalists, online violence is aimed at silencing them from offering the unique experience of women in the virtual space.
World Press Freedom Day also advocates for the rights of journalists who have faced oppression from political forces. Indian journalist Rana Ayyub had been targeted by the Indian government and was initially barred from travelling to Europe to speak about the intimidation she faced.
Commenting on the state of online violence toward women, Ms Mordi said that newsroom enabled violence towards women journalists should also be addressed. She further added that if each Nigerian journalist advocated more for women, newsrooms stood the chance of being safer for women.
Watch the virtual conference here.