Why Many Media Organizations Are Unsafe for Women — HR Study

One would think the news media would be a safe workplace. But for many women, it isn’t. Nearly two-thirds of female journalists worldwide responding to a study say they’ve faced abuse, harassment and threats in the workplace.

The 2013 global study — conducted by the International News Safety Institute (INSI) and the International Women’s Media Foundation — reveals about 64 percent of respondents say they face such hazards.

Most of the threatening behavior was from bosses or co-workers. Regarding sexual harassment: 45 percent from co-workers and 28 percent from their bosses.

“When we talk about safety for the media, we often think in terms of staying safe in war zones, civil unrest and environmental disasters, but how often do we think of the office as a hostile environment?” said INSI Director Hannah Storm in a press release.

Hannah Storm (LinkedIn)

“What this ground-breaking survey shows is that women journalists are often at risk in their own work places as well: targeted by their colleagues, and because they are let down by the very people they should be able to trust, the violence and harassment they face goes widely unreported and therefore unpunished,” she added.

Some 875 women participated in the study.

Here is the geographical breakdown:

— Africa (12.69 percent/111)

— Arab states (5.37 percent/47)

— Asia and Pacific (28.69 percent/251)

— The Commonwealth of Independent States (1.171 percent/15)

— Europe (19.43 percent/170)

— Latin/South America (11.20 percent/98)

— North America (21.60 percent/189)

Age-wise, some 41 percent were between 25 and 34.

More than 82 percent of them were reporters.

Workplaces where the dangers lurked: 

— Newspapers – About 49 percent

— Magazines – 23 percent

— Television – 21 percent

— Radio – 16 percent

A lesson for all companies: More than 400 of the women said their companies failed to prepare them for dealing with harassment.

In addition, my sense is that news organizations need to make harassment training mandatory.

The preceding data is just a snapshot. For the voluminous details, see the study.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are HR management tips:

 HR Tips — So Your Recruiting Enhances Diversity, Not Sexism — Can we agree that a diverse workplace leads to innovation, problem-solving and enhanced enterprise communication? And, as you know, inequality is unlawful. Why then are there so many companies that unknowingly, perhaps, promote sexism? 

How to avoid EEOC Discrimination Suits — Here are six tips for micro-companies and 13 strategies for larger organizations to avoid EEOC migraines.

Human Resources: 4 Reasons Why New Managers Fail — Best practices guarantee success for new managers. Not to over-simplify, but there are often four reasons why new managers are unsuccessful – ineffective communication, failure to develop trusting relationships, weak results, and a failure to delegate. 

Why Companies Fall into the Management Lawsuit Trap — News headlines continue to show there are a myriad of ways managers set themselves for lawsuits. Small and many big companies are ripe for EEOC complaints.  

10 Tips on Responding to EEOC Complaints — Despite all the court cases, warnings and complaints filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a study shows big companies are guilty of favoritism in their promotion practices. 

“In a fascist shift, reporters start to face more and more harassment, and they have to be more and more courageous simply in order to do their jobs.”

-Naomi Wolf


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Yahoo Shows Good Management in Firing Biased News Manager

Yet another media controversy illustrates why millions of Americans are justified in their complaints about liberal news-media bias.

True, Yahoo News showed common sense and assertive management by terminating its Washington bureau chief after he made a controversial comment in the 2012 presidential campaign.

David Chalian was caught implying that Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, were delighted by the misfortune of black citizens in the havoc created by Hurricane Isaac along the Gulf Coast.

David Chalian

“They’re not concerned at all. They’re happy to have a party with black people drowning,” Chalian said during the ABC News/Yahoo News webcast.

Mr. Chalian’s statement was caught by NewsBusters, a media watchdog organization, which posted the audio recording on its Web site. NewsBusters inaccurately indicated Mr. Chalian was an ABC News employee, but ABC quickly pointed out that he had switched employers to Yahoo News.

Yahoo’s response

“David Chalian’s statement was inappropriate and does not represent the views of Yahoo!. He has been terminated effective immediately. We have already reached out to the Romney campaign, and we apologize to Mitt Romney, his staff, their supporters and anyone who was offended.”

Mr. Chalian made his comment just before Yahoo started its live coverage on the second of the Republican national convention in conjunction with ABC News. Ostensibly, he did know his microphone was turned on.

Liberal media bias has long been an issue. Prior to becoming a business-performance consultant, I enjoyed my 20 years as a broadcast journalist. I do recall a few rumblings about the bias, and it didn’t appear to be a widespread problem.

But today, it’s a disturbing trend – see two other 2012 examples:

Meantime, here’s a Biz Coach tip of the cap for Yahoo’s success in its business and management.

From the Coach’s Corner, you can get news media/PR tips here:

5 Vital Elements in Ammunition to Hit Your PR Targets — Even in this advanced age of the digital economy, a sound public relations program remains one of your best marketing investments. PR can give you power with an implied endorsement from the media. Even if journalists aren’t motivated to give you publicity, a strong PR campaign will help you to circumvent them.

Need PR, But No Budget? How to Leverage News Media — Yes, it’s true that increasing numbers of adults – especially the Millennials – are using social media for their news and information, and for making buying decisions. However, don’t be misled. In marketing terms, the media is still the most powerful center of influence on the planet.

Public Relations Expert Provides Crisis Management Tips — Appearances count. But universities, presidential candidates and businesses have all demonstrated a lack of awareness about good public relations. Consider these examples: Penn State and Syracuse – their sexual abuse scandals Herman Cain was forced to quit his bid for the GOP nomination following his weak and untimely responses to the sexual harassment accusations.

PR Is Nearly 90% More Valuable Than Content Marketing — Study — A Bill Gates’ quote is famous: “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” Certainly, there’s validity for his philosophy. Even if you go to the competing Google News, you’ll typically find 50 million results for the key word, Microsoft.

Inspiration from Raymond Loewy for the Best Business PR — Iconic Raymond Loewy taught us public relations — how to get noticed.

Newspapers, television networks, and magazines have sometimes been outrageously abusive, untruthful, arrogant, and hypocritical.

– Potter Stewart


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.