Online abuse against journalists works as a means to silence critical reporting. This audiovisual platform, part of IPI’s Ontheline programme, features a series of interviews with journalists and media experts on their experience coping with threats and harassment on the web

In some cases, Internet militias working on behalf of powerful state and non-state actors form intricate networks of bots and human-operated accounts on various social media platforms to target individual reporters or media houses. These campaigns aim to intimidate and smear critical journalists. IPI believes that a multidiscliplinary approach that includes media houses, governments, Internet companies and journalist organisations is needed to develop an efficient strategy to tackle this issue, which can be expected to grow as Internet penetration increases.

 Florian Klenk, Editor-in-Chief, Falter (Austria)

“Two of our female journalists were subjected to intense abuse that focused on their bodies. Both decided not to go public because they didn’t want the images and insults to multiply.”

Interview: Jonas Vogt | Camera: Javier Luque | Video editing: Gregor Lehrl | Translation: Scott Griffen

Muna Duzdar, Austrian State Secretary for Diversity, Public Service and Digitalization

State Secretary Muna Duzdar details planned measures to counter online harassment of journalists

Produced and filmed by Javier Luque

Hanna Herbst, Deputy Editor, Vice News Austria

“Prior to the final round of the presidential election I received a number of rape threats. But rather than ‘I will rape you’ they usually read ‘You should be raped!’ “

Interview: Jonas Vogt | Camera: Javier Luque | Video editing: Gregor Lehrl | Translation: Scott Griffen | Producer: Michael Kudlak

Dunja Mijatovic, OSCE Representative for Freedom of the Media

“What is always missing … is the political will. Political will, first, to recognise that there is a problem that needs to be tackled and introduction of new laws. New resolutions [are] not going to solve it, we need action.”

Interview, camera, video editing: Javier Luque | Producer: Michael Kudlak

Jelena Gučanin, Journalist, Wienerin (Austria)

“Readers of course judge my last name differently. […] It begins with ‘Go back home’, ‘Go back to where you came from if you don’t like it here’ and ‘Be happy to Austria took you’.”

Interview: Jonas Vogt | Camera: Javier Luque | Video editing: Gregor Lehrl | Translation: Scott Griffen | Producer: Michael Kudlak

Ingrid Brodnig, Journalist and author of “Hass im Netz” (Austria)

“They emotionalise, they spread half-truths, they work with rumours.”

Interview and Translation: Scott Griffen | Camera and Video editing: Javier Luque | Producer: Michael Kudlak

Stefan Kaltenbrunner, Editor-in-Chief, Kurier.at (Austria)

“Three-quarters of a year ago we issued a directive to report everything that is even remotely illegal,”

Interview: Jonas Vogt | Camera and Video Editing: Javier Luque | Translation: Michael Kudlak | Producer: Javier Luque

Christian Burger, Head of Community Management, derStandard.at (Austria)

“We have recently strengthened our post-publication moderation and now always have two persons active monitoring the discussions and sometimes jumping in themselves.”

Interview: Jonas Vogt | Camera: Javier Luque | Video editing: Gregor Lehrl | Translation: Scott Griffen | Producer: Michael Kudlak

MORE INTERVIEWS COMING SOON…