Media Defence Logo


Call for Consultants: Modules on Online Violence Against Journalists

Call for Consultants: Modules on Online Violence Against Journalists

Purpose of the consultancy contract

The purpose of the consultancy contract is to draft three modules looking at online violence against journalists, in particular women journalists.


Media Defence’s vision is a world where journalists no longer face legal challenges that threaten their ability to report freely and independently on issues of public interest, allowing citizens to be better informed, able to hold those in power to account.

Media Defence’s mission is to ensure legal protection of journalists and media workers under threat for reporting on issues of public interest, in the belief that freedom of expression is essential.

One of Media Defence’s core activities is the delivery of litigation surgeries. These litigation surgeries aim to increase the knowledge, skills and confidence of lawyers to litigate digital rights and online freedom of expression cases at national and regional courts. Media Defence has developed a Training Resource Hub containing a set of summary modules and advanced modules on digital rights and freedom of expression online which are the core content for the litigation surgeries. These modules have been designed to introduce practicing lawyers to key concepts relevant in litigating digital rights cases and to be used as reference guides on comparative and international law.

Training Modules

As online violence against journalists has increased, in particular against women journalists, Media Defence would like to expand its training materials to include specific modules on online violence to provide lawyers in sub-Saharan Africa with the knowledge and tools to take on these cases.

Media Defence is looking to hire a consultant to complement the summary and advanced modules with three modules on online violence. The modules should set out the applicable international standards and include case law from national, regional and international courts, relevant comparative law, and guidance. This is a fast-developing area of law; where relevant, the consultant should provide an overview of current status of litigation and potential opportunities or strategies for lawyers.

These modules would then be added as a theme to the Training Resource Hub to ensure that both lawyers who have participated in a litigation surgery and those who have not are able to deepen their knowledge of litigating cases of online violence against journalists.


(1) The development of training modules on topics outlined below:

Module 1: Key concepts related to online violence

Overview of key concepts and definitions
Overview of emerging trends in sub-Saharan Africa
Relevance to press freedom and freedom of expression
Impact of online violence on the work of journalists

Module 2: Gender-based online violence

Threats of violence
Doxxing and stalking
Non-consensual distribution of images
Dis-and mis-information NB please see existing module
Intersectional targeting of marginalised journalists
Litigation strategies

Module 3: Digital Security Attacks

Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS)
Government surveillance
Commercial surveillance
Confiscation of hardware
Litigation strategies

(2) A glossary of terms used within the modules

(3) PowerPoint presentations to accompany each module

Expected timeline

  • 15 May 2022: Deadline for submission of proposal
  • 22 May 2022: Successful proposal will begin
  • 26 June 2022: Review by Media Defence’s Legal Team
  • 15 July 2022: Final submission 

Expected profile

  • At least 3 years’ experience drafting resources on digital rights and freedom of expression, ideally for practicing lawyers, with specific experience related to online violence.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of international/comparative law on the right to freedom of expression, digital rights, and internet freedom, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Availability to provide the deliverables within the expected timeline. 

How to apply

Please submit the following documents to

  • A one-page proposal including key dates and timelines for the project.
  • CV of those working on the project.
  • Quotation/itemised budget in GBP (£).
  • Example of relevant previous work undertaken.


If you have any questions regarding the Terms of Reference or would like a copy of the advanced modules, please contact

Recent News

We are recruiting for a Network Coordinator: Legal Network for Journalists at Risk

Network Coordinator: role summary Media Defence is looking for a highly motivated individual to join the team as a Coordinator for the Legal Network for Journalists at Risk (LNJAR). Media Defence is a Steering Committee Member of the LNJAR. In this role, you will oversee the day-to-day operations of the LNJAR, which provides legal support […]


Webinar: “Freedom of expression in a time of war”

On Thursday July 21st, 11am BST, we’re hosting a webinar to explore the impact of conflict on freedom of expression. We’ll hear from those directly involved about the violence journalists experience, and the longer-term implications of war on press freedoms. Register here. The Context War reporting by independent journalists is essential to ensuring the public […]


Lawyer Impact Survey 2021

About the survey In 2021, we carried out our second Lawyer Impact Survey to assess the impact of our support to lawyers. We support lawyers with both our emergency defence and our strategic litigation programmes. Through these programmes, we offer pro bono legal support, as well as financial support for lawyers in order to cover […]