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University media expert helping tackle online abuse

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Published on 20 November 2020


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 School of Media and Communications at the University, overseeing undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Lee will join editors and leading media thinkers at the Society of Editors’ Virtual Conference next week.

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’ to take place on Monday 23 November at 6pm.

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.

“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 & Content Director for the North East, Helen Dalby, who edits the region’s portfolio of newspapers and websites will offer her perspective on the matter since seeing through the launch of ChronicleLive into the North East’s biggest news website. 

Also on the panel is Karl Holbrook is Group Editor for Newsquest North East and holds editorship of The Northern Echo in his portfolio. Formerly of the Bolton News and Lancashire Telegraph, over his career Holbrook has helped lead teams across the country to multiple industry awards for campaigns and investigations.