European Federation of Journalists


Journalists and media workers have always been considered “high risk” workers because of the nature of their work. But in reality, there is both a lack of awareness of health and safety issues and of protective measures and policies in place for journalists and media workers. As speed is essential for breaking news, there is barely time to carry out risk assessments for journalists. However, journalists face omnipresent risks to their health and safety, whether in the workplace or more dangerous or volatile environments. Since 1990, 371 journalists and media workers have lost their lives on assignment. 

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has exposed such deficiencies and confirmed that the health and safety of essential workers like journalists are ever more important. Trade unions play an important role to ensure the health and safety of workers, who are often under pressure to perform work in an unsafe environment without adequate protection or policies in place. Many unions in Europe representing essential workers, that include journalists, have stepped up to guarantee the health and safety of workers during the pandemic. 

Against this backdrop, the Safety4Journalists aims to answer the following questions: Where does the duty of care lie? Who is responsible for the health and safety of journalists? How can journalists achieve work-life-balance in an increasingly digital age producing 24-hour news? How can journalists’ unions and associations support workers? There is a need for a culture of safety and coordinated efforts to ensure the health and safety of journalists.

overall objective

The main objective of this project is to promote health and safety at work through training of workers’ organisations and engagement in social dialogue with employers’ organisations. Also, a universal risk assessment model will be created that can be used by journalists and media companies in praxis and best practices will be exchanged. Furthermore, there is a focus on vulnerable workers, such as female journalists and freelancers.

The project will involve five national journalists’ unions and associations in Croatia (Trade Union of Croatian Journalists,TUCJ), Germany (German Journalists Union, DJV), France (National Journalists Union CGT,SNJ-CGT), the Netherlands (Dutch Journalists Association, NVJ), and Sweden (Swedish Journalists Association,SJF) and their respective national employers organisations. The trainings will take into account the geographical coverage and the needs and development of national partners in these areas. The training will make use of the resources in the online platform and the online modules/training. These trainings will also allow the testing of the online platform to its relevance.

  • Survey on journalists’ perceptions of health and safety issues
  • Development of an online risk assessment platform
  • Development of an online handbook with five modules (case studies, best practices, physical safety and digital safety)
  • Five trainings will be organised in Croatia, Germany, Sweden, France and the Netherlands
  • Involvement of stakeholders beyond the journalism sectors
  • Final conference in Brussels to raise awareness and publicise online platform and handbook

WPFD: EFJ calls for a systemic approach on journalists’ safety

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) organised, on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, a 1.5 day conference on the safety of journalists. Held at the Bozar in Brussels, the conference brought together journalists, experts, representatives of the EU and trade unions to discuss the safety of journalists, both physically and psychologically. If journalists and media workers are not protected, democracies are endangered The conference opened with a minute of silence for killed journalists around the world. Figures show that Europe has become a dangerous place for media professionals: for the year 2022, the Media Freedom Rapid Response…

WPFD: EFJ launches risk assessment tool for journalists and media outlets

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) launched its risk assessment tool designed to help journalists and media workers better prepare for risky assignments. The platform was presented on 3 May in Brussels during the final conference of the Safety4Journalists project. The website has been developed by safety experts with experience in training journalists, media workers and media managers. Journalists completing the survey will receive customised advice to help mitigate the risks that they might face during a specific assignment, along with rapid response mechanisms. They are also able to visualise these…

EFJ organises conference on journalists’ safety to mark World Press Freedom Day

To mark World Press Freedom Day, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) organises a conference at Bozar on 2-3 May 2023, as part of its Safety4Journalists project. The 1.5 days final conference will highlight the good practices of safety in the media from unions, media employers, policy-makers and international experts. Experts will discuss the EFJ risk assessment tools to be launched on the day with a focus on what can be done by media managers, employers, journalist unions and associations, and national and international authorities to create a culture of health and safety at work in the media. Please find the…

Journalist unions shared best practices on online harassment in Sweden

Trade union representatives from 10 European countries attended the 1.5-day training in Stockholm, Sweden, on 15 and 16 February 2023 as part of the “Safety for Journalists” project. The panel discussions and training focused on online harassment, the duty of care of employers, and physical safety. The goal was to highlight good practices and find ways to involve emlployers towards employees and the role of large social media platforms. The session opened with Maja Sever, president of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND). She stated the project aims to develop a universal risk assessment model through…

Journalists and union representatives in the Balkans undertook safety training with a gender focus

Twenty-six trade union representatives and journalists from the Balkans region received a 1.5-day training on safety in Zagreb, Croatia, on 22 and 23 November 2022. The practical guidance focused on how to be safer at work and the responsibilities of employers, with a particular focus on the different threats facing journalists. The training was organised prior to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November to draw attention to the increasing violence facing female journalists. Neus Vidal from the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) gave a regional overview of the situation. She…

French journalists undergo safety training on demonstrations coverage

Thirteen journalists and representatives from journalists’ unions in France took part in a training workshop on the safe coverage of demonstrations and civil unrest, on 10-11 October 2022 in Paris. The workshop is part of a series of training sessions organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in the framework of the Safety4Journalists project. The workshop was organised in cooperation with the French journalists’ trade union SNJ-CGT. Six female journalists and seven male journalists attended the sessions. All are working as camera operators and photographers, and are from different cities of France, including Lyon, Bordeaux, Besançon, Nice and Paris.…