12 March 2024
10:30 to 11:30hrs (CET) / 9:30 to 10:30hrs (GMT )

It’s not that long ago that when people saw a news crew filming on the street – they’d be keen to know what the story was and where they could see it.
Today, the news crew is more likely to be on the wrong end of swear words and personal abuse simply for doing their job.
And it gets worse.  Anger, threats, and extreme abuse are now often directed at individual journalists – online, on social media and in person. 

Alex Lovell, Florence Hainaut and Maja Šimunjak discuss why respect is in decline, personal abuse is on the increase and what steps you can take to protect yourself and find support.

The webinar covered:

 • The latest research from across Europe and UNESCO covering attitudes towards journalism and abuse of individual journalists.

 • Alex and Florence shared their personal experience of sustained campaigns of abuse, threats and stalking behaviour.

 • The impact abuse can have and coping strategies should you be abused.

 • Sources of support and what cultural change is needed to better support our journalist colleagues across Europe.


About the Panel:

Alex LovellAlex Lovell has been the face of news in the west of England for 20 years - first with the BBC and now with ITV.  Her warmth, insight and engaging style have helped her develop a unique rapport with the 1 million strong audience in her region - but she has also had to deal with some significant and extreme unwanted attention that’s she is happy to talk about in this exclusive webinar. 



Florence HainautFlorence Hainaut is a high-profile presenter, film maker and journalist in Belgium, where her career has spanned TV, radio and print for over 20 years. In 2020 she became the target of a sustained and vicious campaign of personal abuse in reaction to an article she wrote for Le Soir. Florence explored cyberviolence and misogyny in the striking documentary #FatUglySlut. Florence continues to fight against personal abuse online and campaigns for better protection for journalists.



Maja SimunjakDr Maja Šimunjak is Senior Lecturer in Journalism at Middlesex University London. She is the author of ‘Managing emotions in journalism: A guide to enhancing resilience’ (Palgrave, 2023) and ‘Tweeting Brexit: Social Media and the Aftermath of the EU Referendum’ (Routledge, 2022). She has researched and published extensively on the topic of journalists’ emotional labour and online abuse and co-created Online safety training for the British National Council for the Training of Journalists. Dr Šimunjak has worked as a journalist, presenter and editor in broadcast and print.