With regard to combating online harassment in the newsroom, heads of audience should:

• Acknowledge that online abuse is a serious and unacceptable issue and not simply a characteristic of modern journalism.
• Identify individual threats and orchestrated campaigns on social media platforms and comments section targeting staff members, record them in a database and escalate them to the journalist, editor and online safety expert.
• Contribute in the assessment of the level of threat of the online abuse.
• Take over a targeted journalist’s social media accounts to reduce the latter’s exposure to violent content and minimize potential trauma.
• Monitor, in coordination with the digital security team, if any, the personal details that are open to the public and search for vulnerabilities in the journalist’s digital footprint so as to prevent hacking and doxing.
• Take part in discussions on institutional responses (legal action, public statement of support).

Building audience trust through dialogue

Sami Koivisto, Head of Audience Dialogue, Finnish public broadcaster, Finland