Sounding the Alarm for “Watchdogs”: Threats to Journalists’ Digital Safety and Protection Strategies
Journalists are considered as “watchdogs” of our society. However, their “watchdog” roles are limited by digital surveillance and malware attacks. In various parts of the globe, journalists now are targeted by governments and malicious actors.This thesis focuses on threats to journalists’ digital safety and protection strategies. By reviewing the extant literature, this work explores journalists’ vulnerabilities to digital surveillance and malware attacks. It also investigates the far-reaching consequences of these digital threats, and analyzes factors contributing to journalists’ vulnerabilities.The thesis conducts a data analysis to answer the research questions. Key findings show the alarming situation of journalists’ digital safety. Over 65% of journalists never or rarely used digital protection, including journalists in vulnerable groups, such as female journalists, politics or crime reporters. In light of these key findings, the thesis will also provide recommendations for journalists and other stakeholders to shield journalists from digital threats, as well as directions for future studies.