Introduction

Creating an environment in which journalists feel comfortable in reporting online attacks must be a core goal of news organizations. A competitive work environment or a precarious job situation may generate concerns among journalists that reporting attacks will be perceived as a sign of weakness or lack of professional standards and will have negative repercussion on their career.

But speaking openly about online attacks is essential to limiting their effects, including trauma and self-censorship. Newsrooms should create various channels through which attacks can be easily reported and which allow journalists to access support mechanisms.

Having a one-on-one conversation with colleagues about harassment and attacks has been shown to be helpful to targeted journalists. Colleagues may also encourage the journalist to bring the attack to the attention of the relevant persons within the news organization.

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Create an online form where targeted journalists can easily report an online attack. This form should be short and easy to fill in but cover all essential information related to the attack.

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Create a specific email address where journalists can report online harassment. It should be made clear who the individuals are that will respond to emails sent.

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News organizations should create a database to keep track of incidents of online harassment and responses taken to them. Documenting the attacks will help with any future legal action.

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