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MFRR SUMMIT - A Hostile Continent: Online harassment, threats and smear campaigns
PART OF THE MEDIA FREEDOM RAPID RESPONSE SUMMIT 2021

Speakers:

- Patricia Devlin, Sunday World (Northern Ireland, UK)
- Anja Kožul, Portal Novosti (Croatia)
- Tanja Milevska, MIA News Agency (Belgium)
- CHAIR: Camille Petit, European Federation of Journalists (Belgium)

Fake news purveyors, enemies of the state, infiltrators, traitors and a litany of misogynistic, homophobic and racist epithets are so commonly hurled at journalists and media workers they form part of the landscape they are expected to navigate as part of their daily professional lives. The normalisation of online harassment, threats and smear campaigns, reinforced by rampant anti-media sentiment, pollutes the media freedom climate and may encourage journalists to step away from certain topics in the public interest or avoid journalism altogether.

The three panelists speaking here, based in Northern Ireland, Croatia and Belgium have been targeted by paramilitaries, far-right extremists and misogynists solely for their journalism and online conversations related to their reporting. Chaired by Camille Petit of the European Federation of Journalists, this session will document the lived experience of being a journalist in this hostile environment, explore how they can continue their important work and identify ways this can be stopped.
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