Safety of Women Journalists in Conflict Situations [fr]

Panel Discussion - Safety of Women Journalists in Conflict Situations - 3rd of May 2017


The Permanent Missions of France, Greece and Lithuania to the United Nations on behalf of the Group of Friends on the Protection of Journalists* cordially invite you to the



3 May, 2017 from 1:00 to 2:30pm

Venue:UN Headquarters, Conference Room 7


  • 1:00pm Introductory remarks
  • 1:15 Panel discussion, moderated by Michelle Nichols, Reuters
    · Erin Banco, Middle East Reporter
    · Marie Bourreau, World correspondent for Le Monde and Radio France Internationale (RFI)
    · Tatiana Mossot, Journalist, Voice of America
    · Elisa Lees Muñoz, Executive Director, International Women’s media foundation (IWMF)
    · Joel Simon, Executive Director, Committee to Protect Journalists
  • 2:00pm Q&A session

All are invited

The Group of Friends on the Protection of Journalists was created in 2016 and consists of 17 member states, from all regional groups, committed to strengthening the protection of journalists and media workers and the accountability for the crimes committed against them. The current members of the Group are Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, France, Greece, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Sweden, Tunisia, Republic of Korea, United States and Uruguay.

1. Women Journalists in Conflict Zones

Reporting from conflict zones requires extraordinary determination and courage, especially as journalists themselves increasingly become the targets of the attacks. Being a woman journalist adds an extra layer of challenges.
While doing their work in conflict and fragile security zones, journalists experience threats, violence and abuse. Women journalists face such threats as sexual assault and abuse more often than men. Editors may be reluctant to assign women journalists to cover specific issues as ensuring their safety is more complicated and costly. Female freelancers are even more vulnerable as they have no institutional support and resources to ensure their safety. Local journalists make a large part of victims of violence and killings. It can be assumed that local female journalists are facing additional risks and vulnerabilities as they carry on their work.

The panel discussion will focus on the specific challenges and risks that women journalists face in conflict zones as well as the ways to address them. A number of initiatives are already being implemented, like conducting safety trainings tailored for women journalists and media workers in conflict zones, taking into account the specific challenges they face, but more could be done to this effect, both at normative and practical levels.

The panel consists of women journalists and representatives of non-governmental organizations engaged in the protection of journalists, who will share their first-hand experiences and insights regarding the specific challenges that female journalists and media workers face as well as ways to address them. The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A session.

2. The Panelists

Erin Banco began her career reporting from Egypt during the Arab Spring. She later switched her focus to Syria, writing about the civil war from the outside, in refugee camps, before traveling inside the country to cover the first battle for Aleppo. Banco worked as a Middle East correspondent for International Business Times where she specialized in conflict reporting. She worked from Iraq during the rise of ISIS and from Gaza during the war. Over the past 2 years Banco has worked as an investigative reporter, writing about the oil industry in Iraq and corruption in the country’s natural resource sector. Banco received her bachelor’s degree in Arabic and journalism from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and her master’s from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Marie Bourreau is a journalist, World correspondent for the French daily Le Monde and Radio France Internationale (RFI) at the United Nations in New York. From 2003 to 2011, she made numerous reports for print, television and radio especially on Afghanistan. She is the author of "We are brothers and foes: one is Taliban, the other is fighting them", a book published in 2011 that deals with the ambivalence of the anti-terrorist struggle in Afghanistan. Her work in the war zone was rewarded with several prizes.

Elisa Lees Muñoz has been the Executive Director of International Women’s media foundation (IWMF) since 2013. She has over 20 years of experience in human rights, freedom of the press, and gender equality issues. Lees Muñoz leads the organization in the pursuit of the mission to empower women journalists with the training, opportunities, and support to become leaders in the news industry. Recently, with the support of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Lees Muñoz launched a $5 million reporting and security training initiative for women journalists in the Great Lakes region of Africa and is currently leading the development of an innovative new security mobile app, Reporta™, to promote safety for women journalists reporting in dangerous situations.

Tatiana Mossot is a journalist with Voice of America, based in Washington since 2015. Previously, she served for eight years as a journalist for France24, where she was a correspondent in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal, and host of the Journal of Africa. In 2014, his work was rewarded for his report "Centrafrican Republic, the Convoy of Hope" of the Ricardo Ortega Prize of the Association of Correspondents to the United Nations, which was handed to him by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Michelle Nichols, Reuters United Nations bureau chief, is an award-winning general and political news correspondent. She has covered the war in Afghanistan, the Indian Ocean tsunami, a deadly 2006 Indonesian earthquake, clashes between protesters and police at the Pittsburgh G20 summit in 2009, riots in the Solomon Islands and U.N. Security Council visits to Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Burundi.

Joel Simon is the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. He has written widely on press freedom issues for publications including The New York Times, Slate, The New York Review of Books, World Policy Journal, Asahi Shimbun, and The Times of India. He is regular columnist for Columbia Journalism Review. He is the author of two books, Endangered Mexico: An Environment on the Edge (Sierra Club Books, 1997) and The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom (Columbia University Press 2015).

Dernière modification : 31/07/2018

Top of the page