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Journalism is no exception to sexism

RSF publishes a report on Monday that illustrates the scale of the phenomenon, and its multiple consequences for female journalists and press freedom.

RSF publishes a report on Monday that illustrates the scale of the phenomenon, and its multiple consequences for female journalists and press freedom.

(AFP) – The phenomenon is rampant both on the internet, in the field and within editorial offices. On the occasion of International Women’s Rights Day, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published a worrying inventory. The organization thus interviewed its correspondents and journalists specializing in gender issues, to identify the sexist acts faced by their sisters.

Discrimination, insults, sexual harassment, touching, verbal and physical assaults of a sexual nature, threats of rape, even rape … The observation is overwhelming: “being a woman journalist often means accumulating a double risk. That, in addition to the dangers inherent in the profession, of being exposed to gender-based or sexual violence, ”summarizes RSF.

Violence that is practiced everywhere, starting with the internet and social networks, which are cited by 73% of respondents. There are countless cases of female journalists victims of cyberstalking, such as Indian columnist and investigator Rana Ayyub, threatened with rape and death on a daily basis …

In the field (36%), the finding is the same. As in Brazil where reporters have launched a campaign against football fans who seek to kiss them without their consent. In the workplace (58%), RSF recalls the multiple revelations that have shaken the editorial staff in several countries since the emergence of the #MeToo movement.

48% self-censor

The NGO cites the example of Danish presenter Sofie Linde, who surprised the audience at a televised gala by recounting how a senior public television official offered to promote his career in exchange for a fellatio … In the aftermath, 1,600 women working in Danish media signed a letter of support, in which they also said they had suffered from sexism.

The report also underlines the serious consequences of all this violence, both for the people who suffer it and for the right to information. They can, for example, lead journalists to leave social networks, to self-censor, change their specialty, or even resign.

Finally, RSF is issuing a series of recommendations to combat this phenomenon, such as awareness-raising actions, training, practical advice, or even the creation of editorial managers in charge of “gender issues”.


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