A major new UN study of 121 countries' legal source protection frameworks has found that they are out of date and need strengthening in many cases. It also recommends that ‘acts of journalism’ should be shielded from targeted surveillance and data retention to prevent the exposure of confidential sources.

The study, Protecting Journalism Sources in the Digital Age (UNESCO 2016) includes thematic  studies on practice adaptations within investigative journalism based on interviews with three dozen editors, investigative reporters and legal counsel to media houses, and the development of an assessment tool for measuring the effectiveness legal source protection frameworks globally.

What are the implications of this study’s findings for the future of investigative journalism practice? How should reporters and editors respond? And what can be done to mitigate the risks? The study’s author, Australian journalist and researcher Julie Posetti, will lead a panel discussion featuring international experts and practitioners.

Read a major excerpt from the forthcoming study.

See also Roy Greenslade's report in The Guardian on the preliminary findings.