February 3, 2016









Setting a New Research Agenda.
The establishment of a journalism safety research network

2017 Jackie Harrison

The 33 chapters in The Assault on Journalism represent a growing and diverse interest in the problems of journalism safety and the issue of impunity and were presented at an international conference run in connection with the annual World Press Freedom Day event in Helsinki in May 2016.  Two CFOM members contributed both to the conference and to the book.

Jackie Harrison’s chapter emphasises the  importance of setting a new research agenda and developing greater collaboration through the newly launched Journalism Safety Research Network (JSRN) to produce and disseminate accurate research which can also be acted upon.

Measuring Journalism Safety. Methodological challenges

2017 Sara Torsner

Sara Torsner’s chapter explores methodological challenges when it comes to measuring journalism safety and discusses the need for the development of comprehensive approaches to measuring journalistic risk and understanding the societal environments that produce threats against journalists.

Read the full book here.

If media freedom and media pluralism are fundamental values in the European union why doesn’t the European union do anything to ensure their application?

2015, Stefanie Pukallus and Jackie Harrison173x245_comparative_borito.indd

This chapter addresses the failings of the EU to protect media freedom in all member states. It concludes that the EU, in it’s failing, tolerates impunity and thus allows it’s member states, and prospective member states, not to make it a priority.

Media freedom is an important principle for the EU. It has widely been described by western political philosophers as one of the cornerstones of democracy and true universal suffrage. Yet, despite regular affirmation that media freedom is important, little is done to protect it.

Read more here

Read more about the full book here

Comparative Perspectives on the Fundamental Freedom of Expression, Published by Wolters Kluwer Ltd, 2015, Hungary, pg 368-387

Electronic Press: “Press-like” or “television-like”?

2015, Irini Katsirea1.cover

A notable development of recent times has been the exponential increase of video content available on newspaper websites. The technological convergence between press and broadcasting throws into sharp relief the historically disparate regulation of the two sectors. As long as no political consensus on regulatory convergence can be reached, the question of how to distinguish between text-based and video-based media in the online domain will remain relevant. In recent times, this question has surfaced in the context of the classification of newspaper publishers’ video sites as on-demand audiovisual media services (AVMS). This article examines the contrasting positions of the UK and Austrian regulatory authorities concerning the regulation of video material on the websites of print publications. The author argues that Ofcom’s approach makes it hard to predict the mixture that would bring a hybrid service within the scope of regulation. By contrast, the Austrian approach offers a pragmatic solution to a problem that is only beginning to emerge.

Read it here

Katsirea, I. ‘Electronic Press: “Press-like” or “television-like”?’ (2015) 23 (2) International Journal of Law and Information Technology 134-156.

Self-defence, protection of humanitarian values, and the doctrine of impartiality and neutrality in enforcement mandates

2015, Nicholas Tsagourias9780199673049

This chapter examines the scope of the principles of consent, neutrality/impartiality, and minimum use of force as they apply to modern United Nations peacekeeping operations. It asks how the use of force can be used to protect humanitarian values assigned to peacekeeping operations, and how such use of force interacts with the principles of neutrality and impartiality. The chapter also discusses the implications of ‘the responsibility to protect’ and the ‘protection of civilians’ for the competence to use force. It concludes by identifying a number of difficulties encountered by peacekeeping missions in attaining humanitarian values.

Read it here

Journalists Die: Who Cares?

2015, Stefanie Pukallus and Jackie HarrisonBritish Journalism Review March 2015

New research suggests readers are ready to hear more about the dangers faced by those who bring them the news.

How much do the general public want to know about the dangers faced by the people who bring them the news?

As part of a larger ongoing research project, which is concerned with the values and attitudes of news editors in the UK and across the world towards the safety of journalists and the problem of impunity, CFOM has begun to explore the attitudes of the public to see if there are notable differences between audiences and editors on these matters.

Read it here

British Journalism Review March 2015 Vol. 26 no. 1 63-68

Research Handbook on International Law and Cyberspace

2015, Nicholas Tsagourias

This timely Research Handbook contains an analysis of various legal questions concerning cyberspace and cyber activities and provides a critical account of their effectiveness. Expert contributors examine the application of fundamental international law principles to cyberspace such as sovereignty, jurisdiction, state responsibility, individual criminal responsibility, and intellectual property rights. In addition to this, they explore the application of international law rules to cyber terrorism, cyber espionage, cyber crime, cyber attacks and cyber war and discuss the cyber security policies of international and regional institutions.

Read it here

Tsagourias N. Research Handbook on International Law and Cyberspace, (with Dr Buchan), Elgar, 2015.

Journalists’ Perceptions of Nomenklatura Networks and Media Ownership in Post-Communist Bulgaria

2015, Lada Trifonova Price11304

This article discusses the role of the former communist party elite (the nomenklatura) in the Bulgarian post-communist media landscape in relation to media ownership and the origin of media outlets’ capital. The spotlight is on Bulgarian journalists’ perceptions explored in semi-structured interviews with media professionals from the capital city, Sofia. The findings indicate that Bulgarian journalists are strongly interested in, and concerned with, the influence of members of the former nomenklatura and their informal networks on the Bulgarian media landscape and particularly on the way Bulgarian media in Bulgaria have been owned and financed since 1989.

Read it here

Trifonova Price, Lada. 2015b. “Journalists’ Perceptions of Nomenklatura Networks and Media Ownership in Post-Communist Bulgaria” Medijske Studije/Media Studies. Vol. 6 (11) 19-34

Secrets, Lies, and Journalist-Spies

The Contemporary Moral Dilemma for Bulgarian Media Professionals

2015, Lada Trifonova Price4.cover

The subject of this article is the issue of journalist-spies in the Bulgarian media before and after the fall of communism in 1989. The focus is on the perceptions of Bulgarian journalists on the role alleged secret service collaborators played, and continue to play, in the postcommunist society and media landscape. Role perceptions are explored through semi-structured interviews with practicing journalists from the capital city, Sofia. The findings suggest that Bulgarian journalists continue to be concerned with, and affected by, the influence of former communist spies on the Bulgarian media, a controversy that has largely been ignored by media scholars.

Read it here

Trifonova Price, L. 2015a. “Secrets, Lies and Journalist-Spies – the contemporary moral dilemma for Bulgarian media professionals”. International Journal of Press/Politics. SAGE Vol. 20 (2) 185-203.

Public Service Broadcasting in Greece: Back to the Future or Point of no Return?

2015, Irini Katsirea, and Petros Iosifidis

Traditional media, such as newspapers, magazines and the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation ERT, the public service broadcaster, faced an unprecedented challenge as competition increased first from powerful (unregulated) commercial analogue broadcasters and then digital media. To address sharp decline in sales, the main publishers, helped by a weak regulatory regime, moved to electronic media, thereby raising levels of media market concentration. The interdependence between political and media elites and the strong clientelistic relations which characterize the Greek political system are identified as the main factors behind the ineffective and contradictory nature of broadcasting regulatory policies. The ongoing financial crisis and recession has affected the media sector as a whole and turned some media outlets financially unsustainable. However, the most dramatic development occurred in 2013 with the sudden closure of public service broadcaster (PSB) ERT.

Read it here

Katsirea, I. ‘Public Service Broadcasting in Greece: Back to the Future or Point of no Return?’ (together with P. Iosifidis) (2015) 10 (1) Global Media Journal 1-12.

Journalists in Danger

2014, Aamer Ahmed Khan, Joel Simon, Ricardo Gonzalez Bernal,  Paul Steiger, and Nicholas Tsagourias.bbc_academy

A series of reports on the Symposium’s themes for the BBC’s College of Journalism and CFOM. The Journalists in danger series covers a range of modern Journalistic threats.

Journalists in danger:Threats, torture and censorship: by Aamer Ahmed Khan of BBC Global News

Journalists in danger: A roadmap for fighting impunity by Joel Simon

Journalists in danger: Action not outrage will end reporter death toll by Ricardo Gonzalez Bernal

Journalists in danger: Support press freedom groups or risk lives by Paul Steiger

Journalists in danger: How can international law help fight impunity? by Nicholas Tsagourias


Safety of journalists Guidebook (2nd edition)

2014, William Horsley

The second edition of the Safety of journalists Guidebook chronicles events undertaken by international organizations, governments and nongovernmental organizations to create a safer environment for members of the media since the original Guidebook was published in 2011. Written by CFOM’s International Director, William Horsley, the guidebook is available in English and in Russian here.


The Protection of media freedom in Europe: Background Report

2014, William HorsleyCOE-Logo-Quadri

William Horsley, the international director of CFOM who is also the media freedom representative of the Association of European Journalists, presented his in-depth advisory Report on The protection The protection of media freedom in Europe to parliamentarians of the 47 Council of Europe States on 24 June 2014. The Report contains a detailed record of violent attacks and official harassment against journalists in Europe during the past two years. Among its key findings are the killings of 12 journalists in Russia and Ukraine, the targeted violence against members of the media in Ukraine before and after the Russian annexation of Crimea in March 2014, and patterns of widespread intimidation and harassment directed against journalists in Turkey and Azerbaijan. The Report was commissioned by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). It is the fourth of a series of expert reports produced by William Horsley for the Assembly since 2009.

Read it here


Violence Against Journalists and Crimes Against Humanity

February 2014, Nicholas Tsagourias

Although acts of violence against journalists are widespread, a culture of impunity has been allowed to develop, due to institutional inability or unwillingness to prosecute those responsible for such acts. In order to counter this climate of impunity, the UN has launched its Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. The present report addresses the question of whether violence against journalists can be categorised as a crime against humanity. It concludes that murder, torture, rape or other sexual attacks, imprisonment, disappearances, persecution or other grave inhumane acts committed against journalists as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population, and committed with knowledge of, or in furtherance of, the attack, does indeed amount to a crime against humanity. Prosecution of the perpetrators can take place before national courts on the basis of the nationality or territoriality principle or before international courts (such as the International Criminal Court) if the referent jurisdictional criteria are fulfilled. However, there are many obstacles in exercising criminal jurisdiction, one of which is the institution of immunities attached to public officials who are often the main perpetrators of such crimes.

Read it here

Censorship By Bullet

2013 William Horsley and Jackie Harrisonbritish journalism review 2013

It’s time to confront the tide of violence used by governments against journalists, argue two fighters for media freedom.

Why has journalism become more dangerous? Because wars – especially now the civil war in Syria – account for as many as one third of all the cases of journalists being killed by acts of violence, after a period of some years when journalist fatalities in conflict had fallen. And the new surge in war-zone deaths comes on top of a sharp and continuing increase over the past decade in cases of deliberate, cold-blooded killings of journalists with the express purpose of preventing them from reporting on criminality, corruption or abuses of political power in various forms. Rodney Pinder, the Director of the International News Safety Institute put it like this: “As long as people can murder journalists and get away with it, it’s the cheapest, easiest and risk-free form of censorship, and it’s being used increasingly.”

Read it here

British Journalism Review Vol. 24, No. 1, 2013, pages 39-46

The Activities of Organisations in Europe Working for the Protection & Safety of Journalists and to Combat Impunity

2013, William HorsleyCOE-Logo-Quadri

This Report for the Council of Europe maps the main activities of the other InterGovernmental Organisations with mandates to uphold and promote free expression and the safety of journalists in Europe and of many of the leading NGOs active in those fields; and indicates gaps and areas of concern where further efforts appear to be necessary.

The Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) as guardians of the European Convention on Human Rights have a central role in setting standards and acting as a watchdog to uphold Article 10 rights (freedom of expression and information) as well as other rights. Uniquely, the rulings of the Court uniquely have the force of law. The OSCE and the EU, as well as other institutions, use Council of Europe standards and regularly refer to the Council of Europe’s work.

Read it here

Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) 5 February 2013

Collective Security: Law, Theory and Practice

2013, Nicholas Tsagourias, and Nigel White9781107015401

This analysis of collective security covers its institutional, operational and legal parameters along with the United Nations system, presenting it as a global public order institution for maintaining peace. The authors study its constitutional premises as they are shaped by the forces of law and politics. After an historical account of initiatives and projects for global peace, the authors explain the morphology of collective security as a global public order institution and outline its triggers, institutions, actors, components and tools. They go on to analyse its legal properties and the processes of political, legal and criminal accountability. The analysis and assessment are informed throughout by practice drawn from examples including Korea, Iraq and Libya, and by a wealth of cases from national and international jurisdictions.

Read it here

Tsagourias N. Collective Security: Law, Theory and Practice, (with Professor Nigel White), Cambridge University Press, 2013.

The protection of journalists in Croatia: the EU talks a lot but acts too little.

September 2013, Stefanie PukallusiStock_000005491324XSmall_edit

The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights enshrines the right to freedom of expression. The European Commission refers to this right a cornerstone of EU democracy. As such, so the European Commission claims, the protection of the right to freedom of expression is a condition any country applying for EU membership has to fulfill. The case of Croatia proves different. Croatian journalists often find themselves in situations of undue political pressures and confronted with various kinds of censorship. And yet, Croatia became the 28th EU member state on 1 July 2013. This paper shows that in reality, the EU does not push as hard for freedom of expression in acceding EU countries as it likes to claim.

Read it here

The media freedom papers, Centre for Freedom of the Media, The University of Sheffield

Freedom of expression and the media: the application of legal standards to journalistic practice

2012, Merris Amos, Jackie Harrison, and Lorna Woods46821

Freedom of expression-particularly freedom of speech-is, in most Western liberal democracies, a well accepted and long established, though contested, constitutional right or principle. Whilst based in ethical, rights-based, and political theories such as those of: justice, the good life, personal autonomy, self determination, and welfare, as well as arrangements over legitimate government, pluralism and it’s limits, democracy and extent and role of the state, there is always a lack of agreement over what precisely freedom of expression entails and how it should be applied. For the purposes of this book we are concerned with freedom of expression and the media with regard to the current application of legal standards and self regulation to journalistic practice.

Read it here

Amos, M., Harrison, J. and Woods, L (eds) (2012) Freedom of expression and the media: the application of legal standards to journalistic practice Nijhoff Law Specials Vol. 79 Leiden. Boston: Martinus Nijhoff pp256.

Commercial Influences on Programme Content: The German and UK Approaches to Transposing EU Rules on Product Placement

2012, Irini Katsireajournal+of+media+law

product placement raises an old problem in a modern context. How far are art and culture compromised by commercial subsidy? Over the centuries, artists and musicians have been sponsored by wealthy patrons, whose position and tastes have been flattered in the creative product. But we can still notice the skills of a great painter, such as Michelangelo, or a great composer, such as Mozart, and, closer to contemporary media, we may not think the less of Dickens because he adopted an episodic style of writing to facilitate publishing in periodicals. There is some ambivalence in our attitudes to the subsidy of creativity, however. We do not like the idea that the sponsor makes demands of the creator, because that smacks of interference with, or censorship of, expression. Yet, we would rather have it that the expression took place, and we also know that it has somehow to be financed. Often, we are prepared to leave it to the creator to decide whether the creative impulse has been compromised. At the same time, it seems to make a difference whether we are aware of the nature of the relationship between creativity and commerce, and that is a theme which is dominant in recent discussion of product placement and concerns with its identification and with transparency regarding its role.

Katsirea, I. ‘Commercial influences on programme content: The German and UK approaches to transposing the EU rules on product placement’ (together with T. Gibbons) (2012) 4 (2) Journal of Media Law, 159-188.

The Initiative on Impunity and the Rule of Law

Safety and Protection of Journalists: A Responsibility for the WorldImpunity-and-the-Rule-of-Law-1

1 June 2011, Research and Recommendations from the Working Conference at City University, London.

A background document for the UN Inter-agency meeting on Safety of Journalists and the issue of Impunity at UNESCO HQ in Paris on September 13-14th 2011.

The Initiative is a Policy Research and Advocacy Project of the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism (CLJJ) at City University London, and the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) at the University of Sheffield.

The Initiative on Impunity and the Rule of Law was set up in 2010 as a joint project of the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) at the University of Sheffield and the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism (CLJJ) at City University, London. Its founding goal and continuing purpose is to develop legal and political remedies for violence against journalists and judicial impunity.

Read it here

Read more on the publication here
Read more on the Initiative here
Published by CLJJ, City University London and CFOM, University of Sheffield 2011.

The three-step test. Three steps forwards or backwards for public service broadcasting in Germany?

2011, Irini Katsirea343_publicvaluetest

Public service broadcasters across Europe are venturing into the digital world, launching niche TV channels, building extensive websites, developing commercial services, entering into partnerships with external actors, and exploring new ways to reach users, whether its through smart phone apps or screens in public spaces. Such endeavours intensify fundamental discussions about what we need public service media institutions for. These are complex discussions, building on history, encompassing new technology, and involving a range of strong stakeholders. Recently, the so-called public value test has emerged as the focal point for these discussions. As a detailed regulatory scheme to measure the public worth and possible market impact of planned publicly funded media services, the public value test is causing controversy across Europe. This collection of short essays from academics, regulators, public broadcasters and private media representatives, provides thought-provoking perspectives on the state of play of public value tests in a range of European states. In so doing, the book is a topical intervention in the ongoing debate about the future of our media systems.

Read it here

Katsirea, I. ‘The three-step test. Three steps forwards or backwards for public service broadcasting in Germany?’ in K. Donders and H. Moe (eds), Exporting the Public Value Test: Views from Academia and Practioners (Göteborg, Nordicom, 2011), 59-67.

European Social Purpose and Public Service Communication

2010, Jackie Harrisoncontent

This title combines theoretical and empirical perspectives to address three relevant issues that are making the European communicative landscape: the role of media and journalism in shaping the European debate, the function of Public Communication in promoting institutional activities and the implications of processes of inclusion to and exclusion from the Public Sphere. This volume offers a timely reflection on the communicative arenas which are structuring the discourse on Europe and its future and provides a map of existing communicative spaces, in order to achieve a better understanding of the development of a European Public Sphere and to identify critical issues. Situated in a timely debate and uniquely giving well-grounded empirical evidence, this book targets primarily post-graduate students and scholars in social sciences who are working on European Integration issues. At the same time, the book is relevant to those actors which are studied in the different pieces of research, in particular European institutions, media groups and NGOs.

Read it here

Harrison, J. (2010) ‘European Social Purpose and Public Service Communication’ in Bee, C. and Bozzini, E. (eds.) Mapping the European Public Sphere: institutions, media and civil society, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing pp99-116.

European Broadcasting Law and Policy

November 2007, Jackie Harrison and Lorna Woods9780521613309

European broadcasting policy has attracted attention from many disciplines because it has dual nature: cultural and commercial. This book offers a detailed treatment of European broadcasting law, set against an overview of policy in this area. In this respect the authors identify tensions within the EU polity as regards the appropriate level, purpose and mechanism of broadcast regulation. Key influences are problems of competence, the impact of changing technology and the consequences of increasing commercialisation. Furthermore, the focus of the analysis is on the practical implications of the legal framework on viewers, and the authors distinguish both between citizen and consumer and between the passive and active viewer. The underlying question is the extent to which those most in need of protection by regulation, given the purpose of broadcasting, are adequately protected.

Read it here

Harrison, J. and Woods, L. (2007) European Broadcasting Law and Policy Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.