Welcome to the Justice for Journalists Foundation April 2024 Newsletter


On May 4, during the UNESCO  Press Freedom Day in Santiago, Chile, the Justice for Journalists Foundation and Journalismfund organise a side event Investigating Environmental Crimes: Can You Cover Coal Mining or Water Scarcity and Stay Alive in the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Centre. 

The discussion will focus on the dangers that await journalists who dare to cover open-pit coal mining, its impact on community health, air quality, and nature. The panel will feature Russian journalist Natalia Zubkova, acclaimed film producer Kirstine Barfod and Ukrainian-American journalist Alina Simone, whose film ‘Black Snow’ supported by the JFJ Investigative grant programme, focuses on the pressures Natalia Zubkova faced once she denounced the coal industry’s wrongdoings. 

On March 28 – April 8, ‘Black Snow’ premiered during the Hong Kong Int Film Festival


Listen to two new episodes of Trouble with the Truth by Lana Estemirova: 

The first episode features the founder of the Tehran Bureau, Kelly Golnoush Niknejad. As a teenager, she left Iran with her family following the 1979 Islamic Revolution and later became a journalist in the US. She shares her experience of settling in the US and what it took to set up an independent media that was so different from what was on offer. She also talks about Iranian protests one year on and the continuous threats against dissidents that make their work difficult even in the West.

In the second episode, Lana spoke with Alina Simone and Kirstine Baford, makers of the documentary ‘Black Snow’. Before 2019, Natalia Zubkova was a homemaker and a mother of three from a coal-mining Siberian city of Kiselyovsk. But when extreme air pollution caused by open-pit coal mining covered white snowy cityscape with black soot, it was time to act. The documentary tracks Natalia’s journey as a citizen journalist, documenting environmental catastrophe in her city and trying to hold local politicians and coal-mining magnates to account. 


  • On April 19, during the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, FLIP and Media Defence hosted the side event showing the documentary Recent surveillance cases in Colombia, El Salvador and Mexico, supported by the JFJ Investigative Grant Programme.
  • On April 23, JFJ and a group of over 70 press and media freedom organisations and media outlets released a petition expressing steadfast solidarity with the Italian Domani newspaper, whose three reporters face up to 9 years in prison for doing their jobs. This latest example of legal harassment underscores the erosion of media freedom in Italy. 
  • On April 24, JFJ attended the panel discussion hosted by the British Group Inter-Parliamentary Union – Iran’s Restrictions on Media Freedom: London-based journalists facing fears for their own safety and convictions in absentia. The event featured speakers from BBC World Service, BBC Persian and Reporters Without Borders.

In Kyiv, Ukraine 2402 Foundation conducted another round of HEFAT + VR safety training for journalists, editors, freelancers, local producers, documentarians, photographers and videographers working in a war zone. The basic security course is free and supported by the Justice for Journalists Foundation. Similar training will be also held in May.

Within the next couple of months, Orkhan Dzhemal Media Safety Academy will conduct psychological retreats, trainings on risk assessment in exile and cybersecurity awareness courses for several dozens of media workers from Russia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.

If you are a media worker and require safety training of any kind, please do not hesitate to write a request to