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Study: journalism often a difficult career for many women

When the television is turned on early in the morning or after work, the viewer will often catch a little bit of the news. The viewer will sit on the couch as the anchor tells them about what is happening locally, across the nation and around the world. And, of course, these anchors and on-site journalists do it with a smile.

That smile isn’t real for many of the female cast, whether in the studio or on location somewhere, found a recent report. “Intimidation, threats or abuse” are experienced by over 64 percent of female journalists, whether they worked in New Jersey or on the other side of the world, noted the report.

Not all of this harassment was in the form offensive comments or sexually-motivated threats. Sexual violence at the workplace was reported by 13.02 percent of the women. According to the women, the majority of violence and harassment was done at the hands of a boss, supervisor or co-worker, not a bystander in the field or other individual unassociated with their employer.

The report was conducted by the International News Safety Institute in cooperation with the International Women’s Media Foundation, using the testimony of 875 women that worked in the news industry around the world. These women included editors, producers and other staff members, but journalists and reporters made up over 82 percent of the group.

Hannah Storm, the director of the INSI, believes that the prevalence of this sexual harassment in the workplace also hinders the reporting process for these situations. Thus, the harassment is perpetuated when it is left unpunished. Fear of retaliation is real for many women, but they must also know that any adverse employment action taken on the basis of reporting this behavior is a violation of state and federal law.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Women Journalists Face Rampant Workplace Abuse, Sexual Harassment: Study,” Catherine Taibi, Dec. 2, 2013

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