International Journalism Festival Session: "Psychosocial safety 101: for journalists and editors"

April 20, 2024
Centro Servizi G. Alessi
PG, Italy

Awareness is growing of the important role that mental health and well-being plays in journalism, yet many editors and journalists still don’t have the tools to practice effective management. This practical workshop introduces the fundamentals of psychological safety and helps participants identify and prepare for exposure to trauma, provide strategies for self-care and build resilience. Introduced by Elisabet Cantenys.

This Session is part of the 2024 International Journalism Festival and is organized in association with ACOS Alliance.


Elisabet Cantenys is the Executive Director of the ACOS Alliance, a coalition of more than 125 news organizations, freelance journalist associations and press freedom NGOs working together to champion safe and responsible journalistic practices. Elisabet has led the Alliance since 2016, managing the organization’s growth and strategy, overseeing its global partnerships and leading a rich programme of activities. Prior to joining the ACOS Alliance Elisabet had more than a decade of experience working on freelance safety issues and cultivating a collaborative approach to these. As former Head of Programmes at the Rory Peck Trust, in London, she oversaw, managed and implemented more than a dozen journalist safety projects worldwide. Cantenys has also worked as a freelance documentary producer, radio journalist and writer in New York, London and Barcelona. She is a regular participant and speaker at press freedom and journalism safety conferences and events, and writes about journalist safety issues. She has a Master’s degree in global politics from the University of London and is a guest lecturer at the Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations, in Barcelona.

Juliana Ruhfus became the director of Dart Centre Europe (DCE) in 2022, a relationship that started back in 2010 with her attendance as one of Dart’s first UK retreats. Two years later she received the Ochberg Fellowship, followed by a scholarship for Harvard’s Global Trauma Programme in 2013, and more than ten years as a trustee on the European Board of Directors. Before working for Dart, Juliana spent twenty years working as an award-winning reporter, film-maker and executive producer in documentary and current affairs production. She was part of the first generation of reporters at Channel 4’s Unreported World, went on to become part of the launch team for Al Jazeera English where she spent 16 years as the face on the People & Power strand, and then joined BBC World Service Eye as an executive producer tasked with setting up investigations in India. Her work has always had a strong international focus including coverage of war, conflict and human rights abuses before turning to investigations. Outside DCE Juliana continues to work as a mentor on journalism projects for organisations including and Open Democracy. She also serves on the board of trustees for the Environmental Justice Foundation, and on the advisory board for eyeWitness to Atrocities, a project of the International Bar Association. You can find out more about her work in journalism, broadcast TV, as well as the production of innovative, interactive, investigative projects here.

Lauren Walsh teaches at New York University, where she is the founder and director of the Gallatin Photojournalism Intensive. She is also the director of Lost Rolls America, a national archive of photography and memory, and in 2023, she was named a Fulbright Specialist in Photography and Ethics. Walsh’s newest book is Through the Lens: The Pandemic and Black Lives Matter (Routledge, 2022). Her other books include Conversations on Conflict Photography (Routledge, 2019) and Shadow of Memory (2021, co-author); and she is co-editor of The Future of Text and Image: Collected Essays on Literary and Visual Conjunctures (2012) and The Millennium Villages Project (2016), and photo editor of Macondo: Memories of the Colombian Conflict (2017). She has published widely in mainstream and academic journals and anthologies, with topics ranging from photojournalism and moral injury to documentation of war crimes to censorship. In addition to her appearances on CNN, Al Jazeera and BBC, Walsh has appeared as an expert on photography in radio programs, podcasts, and documentary films; and sits on the Board of various photojournalism organizations. Walsh is interested in the politics and ethics of photography, and in exploring contemporary visual culture. In that vein, she heads media literacy educational initiatives both in the US and abroad, and has led workshops and lectured globally, with an emphasis on ethics and photography, as well as safety and mental health concerns for journalists. She focuses particularly on photojournalism, with a specialty in conflict/crisis photography and peace journalism. Walsh was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from NYU.