Guidelines for Newsrooms in West Africa

The explosive growth of social media use around the world has opened up many new opportunities for journalism. At the same time, these platforms are becoming increasingly dangerous for journalists. Women in particular experience seemingly endless streams of heinous online attacks, simply for doing their jobs. Constant threats that sometimes lead to real-world violence have taken their toll on journalists’ mental health, impacting their ability to report on crucial issues.

These guidelines, developed by 2020 Open Internet Leader Gideon Sarpong with support from the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) based on research he conducted for iWatch Africa, provide recommendations for West African newsrooms seeking to combat this growing threat. Tailored to the West African context, these guidelines suggest steps newsrooms can take to prioritize the safety of their employees, while keeping in mind the limited resources of many news outlets across the region.

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Gideon Sarpong

Gideon Sarpong is a policy analyst and media practitioner with close to a decade of experience in policy, data and investigative journalism. Gideon is currently the Policy and News Director at iWatch Africa. He is an author; a fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Thomson Reuters Foundation, Commonwealth Youth Program ,Free Press Unlimited and Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative. Gideon is the Ghana Hub Lead of Sustainable Ocean Alliance. He is a 2020/21 Policy Leader Fellow at the European University Institute, School of Trans-national Governance in Florence, Italy and 2020/21 Open Internet For Democracy Leader. Gideon is also currently a Visiting Scholar/Reuters Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK.

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