Report on violence and harassment against women in news media launched

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international women's media foundationMUMBAI, Mar 11- The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) and the International News Safety Institute (INSI) have launched 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.

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 organizations.

The survey was conducted jointly by the Washington, D.C.-based International Women’s Media Foundation and the London-based International News Safety Institute. 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 at their website.

Founded in 1990 by a group of prominent U.S. women journalists, the International Women’s Media Foundation is a Washington, D.C.-based organization 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 recognize 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 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.

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 organizations, 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.

– Siddharth Mohan

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