<h3>As the world marks World Press Freedom day on Wednesday, African journalists are facing a new trend of attack – social media threats, harassment and trolling – online.</h3> <p>Gone were the days when media freedom was mainly attacked by governments and political entities that use threats of closure, arrests and court action to stifle press freedom.</p> <p>In 2017, the attacks have shifted online with 48% of African journalists harassed on social media.</p> <p>This statistic emerged from a survey released by South Africa-based communication training company Fray Intermedia on Wednesday.</p> <p>Most of the journalists that suffered social media harassment were from Zimbabwe (67%) with the least from the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of the low rate of internet access, the report said.</p> <p>“Slightly more men had been harassed on social media. Both sexes were likely to experience trolling, but more women had been sexually harassed and more men threatened,” it added.</p> <p>The online survey covered 307 African journalists from 36 countries who use social media to engage with their audience.</p> <p>All the journalists were found to be regularly engaged on social media platforms with 95% of them engaged professionally.</p> <p>“The overwhelming majority (89%) of journalists were required to be on social media as part of their job. Two thirds who used social media had both personal and professional accounts,” the report said.</p> <p>29% of the journalists surveyed believed there were political motives behind the harassment. Most of these journalists were from Cameroon, Nigeria and Mozambique.</p> <p>On the occasion of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has called for an end to the crackdown on journalists who he described as a ‘‘voice of the voiceless.’‘</p> <p>The international day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. </p> <iframe width="100%" height="3409" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="overflow-y:hidden;" src="https://magic.piktochart.com/embed/22154658-journalist-social-media-findings"></iframe>
Slightly more men had been harassed on social media. Both sexes were likely to experience trolling, but more women had been sexually harassed and more men threatened.