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Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism provides a list of best practices for journalists and newsrooms to combat online harassment, a phenomenon as destructive as physical violence.

On 12th April, 2021, Nieman Reports, a quarterly journal published by Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism, recommended a list of tools for journalists and newsrooms:


  • Remove or limit access to personal information on a public domain.
  • Remove personal details and family members’ details from data broker sites.
  • Use password manager and two-factor authentication to secure all accounts.
  • Create a plan for dealing with online violence (do a risk assessment for each story).


  • Create a supportive work culture in which workers are comfortable with discussion in the face of online violence, create a group chat and encourage peer support networks.
  • Establish guidelines and policies and identify key points of contact in the office, with trained staff, that journalists can approach and talk to.
  • Recognise that journalists from discriminated minorities may not come forward without encouragement.
  • Reach out to younger journalists who may not feel comfortable approaching a senior member of staff.

Nieman Reports is a quarterly print publication by Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism covering thought leadership in journalism. Its editorial mission mirrors that of the foundation itself: “to promote and elevate the standards of journalism.”