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Journalists urged to share experience of abuse with Government

John Whittingdale newMinisters have urged journalists to share threats and abuse they have faced in their work as part of a UK Government bid to better protect those working in journalism.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Home Office have launched a joint call for evidence from journalists who have been affected by the issue.

The call aims to “improve the government’s understanding of the problem of threats and abuse” towards journalists, as well as allowing ministers “to assess the police and judicial response”.

It comes after the National Committee For The Safety of Journalists was launched last year.

In a joint call, Media Minister John Whittingdale, pictured, and Minister for Safeguarding Victoria Atkins wrote: “Journalists play a crucial role in any democratic society; providing critical information, provoking debate and holding power to account.

“Unfortunately, too many journalists in the UK have reported that they feel unable to continue to carry out this vital work, because they are subject to threats, abuse and violence, simply for doing their jobs.”

They added: “We are therefore launching this call for evidence to help us gather the necessary evidence, to understand the threats that journalists face, and the impact that these have on journalism.

“We also want to understand whether journalists feel reticent to report incidents to law enforcement, and if so, why this might be.

“We need to know as much as possible about this problem, to ensure that we are taking the right steps to combat it.”

Journalists have until 14 July to submit evidence, and further information can be found here.