What impact do abuse, threats and violence have on journalists in the UK? What is the most appropriate way to define ‘abuse’, particularly online abuse, of journalists? What are the perceived boundaries between abuse and valid criticism by different stakeholders? What are the potential triggers for journalist abuse in the UK and internationally, including through analysis of online abuse on social media platforms and publisher websites, and the online accounts posting this abuse and wider evidence gathering?


The Media and Creative Industries directorate wants to probe and develop evidence for considering new funding approaches and business models across its sectors which can better ensure growth, social responsibility and environmental sustainability. As new challenges arise, it needs to develop a strong research evidence base to lead on policy and to support these sectors and their wider impacts.In terms of media, MCI needs to consider how best to support television, radio and the press sectors to adapt to the ever-changing media environment while maintaining a media which acts in the public interest and with social and environmental responsibility. The place of regulation and government intervention should be considered within this context. The UK has a reputation for the provision of a dynamic, strong, independent and safe sector where freedoms of speech and expression are supported. There will be a natural focus on the BBC over the coming years as MCI looks at the sustainability of BBC funding and prepares for the start of the next charter period in 2028.

Next steps

Get in touch with csa@dcms.gov.uk


This question was published as part of the set of ARIs in this document:

DCMS areas of research interest GOV UK

Related UKRI funded projects

  • Promoting Media Freedom in a Time of Crisis

    Media freedom and access to information are fundamental rights at the heart of open societies. They are also important enablers of sustainable development: media freedom helps to reduce corruption, hold governments to ac...

    Funded by: AHRC

    Lead research organisation: City, University of London

    Why might this be relevant?

    The project partially addresses the question as it discusses the global decline in press freedom and the harassment and attacks on journalists, but does not specifically focus on the UK or define 'abuse'.

  • Defining Freedom of the Press: A Cross national examination of press ethics and regulation in ten European countries

    Inquiries into the ethics of the UK press, prompted by a series of scandals associated with newspapers, have hitherto been far too parochial: too focussed on the UK itself, they have missed opportunities to learn from pa...

    Funded by: AHRC

    Lead research organisation: University of Derby

    Why might this be relevant?

    The project partially addresses the question as it discusses press ethics and regulation in the UK and Europe, but does not specifically focus on abuse, threats and violence against journalists or define 'abuse'.