ICFJ’s Barnathan: A More Secure Internet Will Foster Innovation in Journalism

Mar 172014

How can the Internet be strengthened to promote innovation and freedom of expression?

It's all about security, says ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan, in the the core query posed by the 2014 Knight News Challenge. The contest—which is offering $2.75 million in prizes this year—incentivizes media innovators to craft tools which will revolutionize the the way news and information is spread.

Barnathan is currently one of a dozen thought leaders featured on Knight Foundation’s website to answer that very question.

“We need to make the Internet far more secure than it is right now so that journalists can work and collaborate without fear of retribution,” Barnathan told Knight.

While she cited the rise of mobile technology as an advance for journalism, she also noted that it can increase risk for journalists working in the field. “A mobile phone," she said, "which has increased access to information around the world—can also be a homing device that drug lords and other nefarious groups can use to track down or even harm reporters.”

Barnathan also called for the creation of more secure reporting platforms and improved translation tools so that journalists can more easily work together across borders, saying, "A more secure Internet will inevitably lead to a much more innovative one.”

Watch Barnathan’s full response below.