Sexual harassment in the working environment of media outlets

The survey was promoted by the Italian national press federation (FNSI, the unitary trade union of Italian journalists) through its Commission for equal opportunities.
2,775 anonymous questionnaires were sent out to women journalists hired by newspapers, radio and tv stations; only 42% answered (1,132).
85% of the respondents confirmed instances of sexual harassment in their professional life (for 66.3% in the last five years and for 42.2% in the last 12 months).
The most common forms of harassment include jokes and looks causing discomfort, inappropriate or offending questions about respondents' private life or their body: 43.6% report receiving insults and offenses just because they were women, while 19.3% were asked to provide sexual services in exchange for a job and 13.8% in exchange for a step forward in their career.
The report lists different forms of harassment (threats to share pictures or videos, violence, unwanted approaches), reactions (no reactions nor interventions in more than 80% of cases), authors (editors, editors-in-chief, older colleagues) and places, and stresses that the information about physical approaches is quite worrying: 34.9% of women journalists confirm they have experienced unwanted hugs, kisses, touches.
Moreover, 35% of all episodes took place in the newsroom, among colleagues, which testifies that “there is a climate of acceptance or of weak awareness of the gravity of the facts, even if it's only a bad joke creating unease and discomfort”.

Tags: Italy Freedom of expression Media freedom Harassment Safety of journalists
Publication Date: 04/04/2019
Accessibility: free