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Promoting Newsafety from the Exile: The Emergence of New Journalistic Roles in Diaspora Journalists’ Networks

Porlezza, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-1400-5879 & Arafat, R. (2021). Promoting Newsafety from the Exile: The Emergence of New Journalistic Roles in Diaspora Journalists’ Networks. Journalism Practice, 16(9), pp. 1867-1889. doi: 10.1080/17512786.2021.1925947


Diaspora journalists and digital media play an important role as stakeholders for war-ridden homeland media landscapes such as Syria. This study analyzes, from a safety in practice perspective, the physical and digital threats that challenge the work of Syrian citizen journalists examining the role of three online advocacy networks created by Syrian diaspora journalists to promote newsafety. Through a metajournalistic discourse analysis of the networks’ published visions and missions, and 12 in-depth interviews with the founders and other selected members of the networks, the paper investigates how journalists working for these networks perceive threats, what counterstrategies they adopt, and how they understand the changing nature of their roles. Findings demonstrate that diaspora journalists perceived physical and digital threats as inescapable, following them across borders. Counterstrategies are implemented through collaborations with civil society actors and human rights organizations, aiming to offer professional safety training programs and emergency rescue for journalists under attack, but also through the release of safety guides or codes of conduct. Grounded on the findings, we propose four novel journalistic roles for promoting newsafety from exile: sousveillance, defender, trainer, and regulator/policy developer. While the networks follow some traditional journalistic ideologies, they also show a hybrid conceptualization of journalism.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Publisher Keywords: Online diaspora, newsafety, surveillance, journalism networks, Syria, global journalism, hybridity
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
SWORD Depositor:
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