Conference - Empowering Journalists in the Digital Field

To the detailed program

In four individual presentations the former participants of the Berlin Scholarship Program, Joëlle-Marie Declercq from Brazil, Jonathan Dagher from Lebanon, Adnan Aamir from Pakistan and Sofia Mapuranga from Zimbabwe will report on the difficult situation of press freedom in their countries. They will also elaborate on strategies and tools they have used in order to resist threats within the digital field in their journalistic practice since their return.


Joëlle-Marie Declercq (Brazil): Threats against journalists in Brazil under Bolsonaro

Marie Declercq is a Brazilian journalist covering gender and youth issues in her country. She faced doxxing attacks as wellas hate speech on social mediaafter reporting far-right groups spreading hate through social media. In her talk, she explains the how she is dealing with thesethreats and what the right-wing government means for independent journalism.

More about Marie Declercq


Adnan Aamir (Pakistan): Which level of digital security and anonymity is possible for journalists?

Adnanis a Pakistani journalist who reports about politics, conflict, and economy. In his presentation, Adnan explains how digital security can benefit journalists in Pakistan. He will talk about the level of digital security and anonymity, which is possible for journalists like him. He will also shed light on what level of surveillance journalists like him have to accept as a cost of doing their job.

More about Adnan Aamir


Sofia Mapuranga (Zimbabwe): Countering digital threats to independent journalismin Zimbabwe after Mugabe

Even in Zimbabwe's post Mugabe era journalists are facing massive repressions and censorship. One of the few independent media outlets is London-based ZimEye. For ZimEye, Secure communication is crucial as the identities of correspondents and their source insides Zimbabwe have to be protected. In her talk, Sofia will give an overview about the digital threats to independent journalism and the possible counter-measures.

More about Sofia Mapuranga


Jonathan Dagher (Lebanon): The role of independent news platforms in the #LebanonProtest

With the onset of the protests in Lebanon on October 17, Megaphone, one of the few politically independent news platforms in the country, became a main reference for young people in Lebanon and abroad. Megaphone is a social-media native platform, which poses a challenge to the journalists who make up the team. Online mobs, biased algorithms, advertising costs, and surveillance risks are just some of the challenges that peaked during the revolution. Jonathan, a journalist from Megaphone, discusses these challenges and explains how the team tries to tackle them with the limited means they have.

More about Jonathan Dagher

Afterwards, the digital helpdesk will be introduced - a new interactive training tool for threatened journalists about topics of digital security.


The Digital Helpdeskof RSF (Benjamin Güldenring)

The Digital Helpdesk is the new interactive training tool by RSF threatened journalists can use to get informed independently on topics such as encryption, anonymization, account security and reacting professionally to hate speech and fake news.Benjamin Güldenring from RSF Germany will explain, what practical use the Digital Helpdesk has for journalists who are not IT-spezialistsbut want to improve their digital security nevertheless.

At the end of the event, the former participants of the Berlin Scholarship Program will get into a dialogue.


Panel discussion lead by Christine Mhundwa (DW): How to spread knowledge about digital security in crisis areas?

In a concluding round of talks, Jonathan Dagher, Marie Declercq, Sofia Mapuranga and Adnan Aamir will give an insight into what possibilities they are seizing and what difficulties they have to overcome in order to pass on the acquired knowledge on digital security to journalists in their home countries after their return from Berlin.

The Berlin Scholarship Program: Empowering Journalists in the Digital Field is funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises.

​​19:00 - 21:00

Evening event: 10 years of emergency assistance (with panel discussion)

After the conference we invite you to the anniversary event of the Reporters Without Borders Germany's Emergency Assistance Desk. Journalists in exile give an insight into their experiences and discuss the topic "After the flight - perspectives for journalists in Germany" with media representatives.