Leading UoS media expert to help protect journalists from online abuse

Lee Hall, head of UoS’s School of Media and Communications.


A MEDIA expert from the University of Sunderland is joining a panel of editors to help tackle the torrent of online abuse facing many journalists.

Lee Hall is currently head of the School of Media and Communications at the University, overseeing undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

He will join editors and leading media thinkers at the Society of Editors’ Virtual Conference this afternoon.

With 84% of journalists recently reporting that more needs to be done to combat abuse, and the launch of a UK National Committee for the Safety of Journalists amid reports that the government is set to introduce new laws to provide more protections, this leading panel will discuss what more can – and should – be done to address this issue.

Chaired by JPIMedia interim editorial director Joy Yates, panellists will debate the topic ‘Tackling the increase in online abuse against our journalists’.

Lee said: “We are seeing a rise in the abuse of journalists and public figures on social media – much of it misogynistic.

“While that doesn’t tell the whole story of the online experience, it is a stark reality young people going into the world of media must face.”

He added: “As educators, we are working to equip students with the skills, knowledge and strategies to deal with the trolls and be effective practitioners.

“We stand with editors and other media bodies in calling for action to address unacceptable behaviour online. This is a debate we need to have in public if we are to keep reporters safe and tackle the rise of misinformation.”

Reach PLC’s audience and content director for the North East, Helen Dalby, who edits the region’s portfolio of newspapers and websites, will also offer her perspective on the matter since overseeing the launch of ChronicleLive into the North East’s biggest news website.

Also on the panel is Karl Holbrook, group editor for Newsquest North East, who holds editorship of The Northern Echo in his portfolio.

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