London/Washington DC – The International News Safety Institute (INSI) and the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) are launching a joint report on violence and harassment against women in the news media.
The 40-page report, entitled “Violence and Harassment against Women in the News Media: A Global Picture”, reveals the findings of a global survey conducted among nearly 1,000 female journalists. It provides the first comprehensive picture of the dangers faced by many women working in news media around the world.
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 work place, 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.
“When we talk about the safety of journalists, we often think in terms of the risks we face in war zones, civil unrest and environmental disasters, but how often do we think of the office as being a dangerous place?”, said INSI Director Hannah Storm.
“This survey shows that women journalists are often at risk in their own work places: targeted by their colleagues, and let down by the very people they should be able to trust.”
“It is telling that most respondents to our questions about reporting incidents of harassment, threats and violence they encountered chose not to do so,” said Elisa Lees Munoz, IWMF Executive Director. “Action must be taken to assure that all women in the news media have recourse against such incidents.”
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 London-based International News Safety Institute and the Washington, D.C.-based International Women’s Media Foundation. The survey and this report were carried out with funding from the Government of Austria and supported by UNESCO.
The full report, including information about the survey methodology, is available here.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss the details of the report with members of the media.Please direct all inquiries and interview requests for INSI to Hannah Storm (firstname.lastname@example.org / + 447766 814274) and for IWMF to Communications Strategist Anna Schiller (email@example.com / +1 202 567 2613). Images and additional information can be downloaded at www.newssafety.org or iwmf.org/presskit
The International News Safety Institute was founded in 2003, its mission to provide safety advice and training to journalists to ensure that wherever they work they are able to do so safely, whether covering conflict, civil unrest, corruption, or natural and manmade disasters. Widely regarded as the news industry’s safety body, INSI counts as its members some of the world’s leading news organisations, such as Reuters, CNN, the BBC, Al Jazeera, ABC, NBC and the Guardian.
In 2012, INSI published No Woman’s Land – On the Frontlines with Female Reporters, the first book dedicated to the safety of women in the news media. INSI has also pioneered safety training delivered by female trainers for female journalists and continues to work with all journalists around the world to ensure they have the most up-to-date and relevant knowledge, training, equipment and support to stay safe while doing their work.
About the IWMF
Founded in 1990 by a group of prominent U.S. women journalists, the International Women’s Media Foundation is a Washington, D.C.-based organisation dedicated to strengthening the role of women journalists worldwide. The IWMF believes the news media worldwide are not truly free and representative without the equal voice of women.
The IWMF celebrates the bravery of women journalists who overcome threats and oppression to speak out on global issues with its Courage in Journalism Awards. The IWMF Lifetime Achievement Awards recognise women news media pioneers who set new standards of excellence in the profession and pave the way for future generations of journalists. Since its inception, the IWMF has honoured 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.
Photo: Lebanese journalists and activists use tape to cover their mouths to show their solidarity with detained journalists by Egyptian authorities during a sit-in protest in Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)