AIJC President Ramon Tuazon urges research and academic institutions worldwide to conduct more scientific research studies on the safety and protection of journalists and media workers. He first made the appeal during the closing plenary session of the UNESCO Research Conference on the Safety of Journalists held May 3-4, 2016 in Helsinki, Finland.

Tuazon notes that while there is an abundance of anecdotal research on the topic, as demonstrated by the studies presented during the two-day conference, there remains a dearth in empirical research. The latter, he says, is needed “to build solid knowledge and facilitate evidence-based planning and decision making on safety policies and programs.”

After reviewing over 30 research studies presented during the conference, Tuazon observes that the concept of human security for journalists and media workers goes beyond life and limb. It may involve threats to economic and social security, such as job insecurity resulting from suspension, dismissal from service, demotion, and non-allocation of work, among others.

The conference brought together more than 50 academics from six continents and was organized by UNESCO in partnership with the University of Sheffield (Centre for Freedom of the Media), University of Tampere, University of Helsinki, and International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).