With regard to combating online harassment in the newsroom, editors should:

  • Acknowledge that online abuse is a serious and unacceptable issue and not simply a characteristic of modern journalism.
  • Regularly include online harassment as a topic in editorial meetings. Speaking openly about the issue will create an atmosphere in which journalists will feel more comfortable reporting attacks.
  • Attend training in trauma risk management (TRiM) to be able to recognize symptoms of trauma that may be caused by online harassment and the steps that can be taken to reduce the impact of online violence on journalists’ well-being. Encourage staff members to do the same.
  • Attend training to understand and identify the trends and main actors behind online attacks, keeping in mind that the causes change regularly.
  • Report online violence targeting staff to the Online Safety Expert and contribute to assessing the case.
  • Commit to discuss institutional reactions to a case of online abuse.
  • Check in regularly with targeted journalists and the Online Safety Expert on the status of the case.

Editors’ responsibility in shielding journalists from impact of online abuse

Markku Huusko, Editor-in-Chief, Uusi Suomi, Finland