Male bosses harass female journalists at work, says report

Mar 10, 2014 at 03:35 am by Staff

Two-thirds of the 1000 women journalists in a global survey said they had been threatened or harassed.

The findings come in a joint report by the International Women's Media Foundation and International News Safety Institute, Violence and harassment against women in the news media: A global picture.

Core findings of the report include:

• Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents said they had experienced some form of intimidation, threats, or abuse in relation to their work, ranging in severity from name-calling to death threats;

• The majority of threats, intimidation, and abuse directed toward respondents occurred in the workplace, and was perpetrated most often by male bosses, supervisors, and co-workers;

• Most incidents of harassment and violence were never reported, even though a majority of women who experienced them said they were psychologically affected.

In addition, the survey gathered data regarding sexual violence, physical violence, sexual harassment, and digital security threats experienced by women journalists as well as what measures have been taken for prevention, protection, and preparedness within news organisations.

The survey was conducted jointly by the Washington, DC-based IWMF and London-based INSI with funding from the Austrian government, and supported by UNESCO.

The full report, including information about the survey methodology, is available at

Founded in 1990 by a group of US women journalists and dedicated to strengthening the role of women journalists worldwide, the IWMF says news media worldwide are not truly free and representative without the equal voice of women. Through its Courage in Journalism Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards, it has honored more than 100 women, and it continues to support the recipients of these awards and many other female journalists with advocacy and assistance in times of crisis. The IWMF’s programs empower women journalists with the training, support and network to become leaders in the news industry.

INSI was founded in 2003 mission to provide safety advice and training to journalists, and counts as its members leading news organisations including Reuters, CNN, the BBC, Al Jazeera, ABC, NBC and the Guardian.

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