The government's call for evidence on the safety of journalists received 360 responses and provided insight into key issues concerning journalist safety in the United Kingdom.(1)

The government says that the findings should be treated as indicative given the self-selected nature of participation in the survey questionnaire provided and the relatively small sample size achieved. However, it says that the survey was broadly representative of the journalist workforce in terms of characteristics such as gender, location and employment status (ie, employed, self-employed or freelance). There was an over-representation of ethnic minority responses relative to the journalist workforce as a whole.

The report focuses on key themes from the evidence provided and on areas that journalists expanded on within their responses. Key issues raised include the following:

  • A very high proportion of respondents had experienced incidents, particularly "abuse", "intimidation" and "threats of violence", taking place both online and offline at varying frequency.
  • Responses confirmed the significant impact this has on journalists and their behaviour both professionally and personally, including influencing their journalistic output.
  • Over one in three female respondents indicated that they do not feel safe operating as a journalist in the United Kingdom.
  • The majority of respondents did not report all incidents to platforms, police and employers, due in part to poor confidence that they would be progressed or taken seriously.
  • Responses implied low confidence in the current arrangements of police and platforms to deal with incidents, with employers seen more ambivalently.

The government says that the evidence confirms that further research is required to build a more robust picture of the issues covered in the call for evidence and to track change over time. The government says that it continues to support the protection of journalists via the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists and the National Action Plan for the Safety of Journalists.

For further information on this topic please contact Matthew Dando at Wiggin by telephone (+44 20 7612 9612) or email ([email protected]). The Wiggin website can be accessed at


(1) To read the report in full, click here.