Online event: Safe Havens Freedom Talks

Safe Havens Freedom Talks series offers a panel on how Covid-19 is affecting press freedom globally, as researched and presented by Index on Censorship in the project Disease Control. The panel discussion titled Disease Control features a frontline journalist and representatives of both Index on Censorship and Justice for Journalists Foundation.

Since March 2020, Index on Censorship and Justice for Journalists Foundation jointly monitor violations against the global media specific to the COVID-19 related crisis and catalogue them on the Index’s current website and on the JFJ Media Risk Map.

Disease control is a map run by Index on Censorship in partnership with Justice for Journalists Foundation. It tracks the media attacks that are happening globally as a result of Covid-19. In times of extraordinary crisis, governments often take the opportunity to roll back on personal freedoms and media freedom – and this is exactly what we have seen during the pandemic. With reports from as early as January of this year, we have tracked where journalists have been attacked across the globe in an easy-to-navigate map. These attacks range from journalists being blocked from attending key government meetings or having their questions avoided by heads of state to actual detentions, arrests and physical attacks. We also feature situations where governments have implemented laws to stop the spread of “fake news” – an idea that may sound sensible but sets up governments as the final arbiters of what is true and what is

In the panel, Mark Frary (Associate editor, Index on Censorship) and Maria Ordzhonikidze (Director, Justice for Journalists) will talk about the findings of the joint mapping project. Russian journalist Alexander Pichugin who has been attacked by the government for reporting on Covid-19 will also share his experiences. The panel which focuses on reporting in the shadow of Covid-19, how it is working/not working and what consequences we see will be moderated by Zandra Thuvesson.

It will be possible to ask questions to the panel during the conversation through the Facebook page.

Moderator: Zandra Thuvesson, Policy expert at Union of the Visual Arts organisation in Sweden, Konstnärernas Riksorganisation.


  • Mark Frary, Associate editor of Index on Censorship;
  • Maria Ordzhonikidze, Director, Justice for Journalists Foundation;
  • Alexander Pichugin, Owner of three news sites and Telegram channels in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

The event will be live streamed on Friday, October 30 at 2.30 pm CET / 1.30 pm GMT.