Indian investigative journalist and Washington Post columnist Rana Ayyub is one of the most prolifically threatened and abused journalists in the world - as a woman, as a Muslim and as a reporter. Concerns for her safety have prompted the UN to intervene in her case multiple times.
Ayyub is subjected to torrential online violence which has spilled offline in the form of stalking and State-linked legal harassment. Her case is emblematic of this freedom of expression and gender equality crisis which affects women journalists globally.
The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is studying Ayyub's case in depth, in partnership with University of Sheffield computer scientists, along with six other cases including investigative journalist and Observer columnist Carole Cadwalladr.
Cadwalladr has experienced orchestrated online violence, which has exposed her to SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suits in the UK, and she has written powerfully about Ayyub's case.
Award-winning Nigerian investigative journalist Kiki Mordi was subjected to severe online violence after making a BBC documentary about sexual harassment.
All three women will share their experiences and fightback strategies during this Frontline Club event in partnership with ICFJ and Reporters Without Borders. They will join prominent media freedom lawyer Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, who represents Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Maria Ressa and murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. ICFJ's Global Director of Research, Dr. Julie Posetti, will moderate the discussion.
Key questions to be tackled include: Can the platforms be held accountable for enabling the vilification of women journalists? What more can news organisations do to address online violence - especially against freelance journalists? And what do States need to do to protect women journalists from the scourge of gender-based online violence?
Investigative Journalist and Columnist at Washington Post
Rana Ayyub is a multi-award winning Indian investigative journalist, Washington Post columnist and author of Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up. She was previously an editor with Tehelka, an Indian investigative magazine. She has reported on religious violence, extrajudicial killings by the state and insurgency.
Investigative journalist and columnist at Observer
Carole Cadwalladr is a journalist for the Guardian and Observer in the United Kingdom. She worked for a year with whistleblower Christopher Wylie to publish her investigation into Cambridge Analytica, which she shared with the New York Times. The investigation resulted in Mark Zuckerberg being called before Congress and Facebook losing more than $100 billion from its share price. She has also uncovered multiple crimes committed during the European referendum and evidence of Russian interference in Brexit.
Nigerian investigative journalist Kiki Mordi spent a year producing an award-winning BBC Africa Eye documentary on sexual harassment in education, and as a result experienced severe online harassment herself.
International human rights lawyer with Doughty Street Chambers, focused on media freedom and the safety of journalists. Her clients include Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa, the family of slain Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, and hundreds of BBC Persian service journalists.
Director of Research International Center for Journalists
Julie Posetti is Deputy Vice President and Global Director of Research at the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). She is an internationally published journalist and researcher who is academically affiliated with the University of Oxford (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism), and the University of Sheffield (Centre for Freedom of the Media). She is the author of Protecting Journalism Sources in the Digital Age (UNESCO, 2017) and lead author of the UN-commissioned study The Chilling.