Majority of female journos sexually harassed in newsrooms

By By David Blight | 11 October 2012
Dr Louise North.

A male-dominated culture in Australian newsrooms has led to more than half of female journalists experiencing some form of sexual harassment in the workplace, a new study has found.

Monash University researcher Dr Louise North, from the School of Applied Media and Social Sciences, has released a study which claims 57.3% of female journalists experience sexual harassment.

Her study was based on interviews with 577 female journalists working across multiple media platforms in metro, regional, rural and suburban news organisations.

The study has aimed to build on a survey conducted in 1996 by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance and the International Federation of Journalists.

The 1996 study found that 51.6% of female journalists were victims of sexual harassment, indicating that current levels are higher.

North said: “Unfortunately it appears little has changed in the 16 years since the previous survey.”

“The 1996 survey found there was significant gender discrimination in Australian newsrooms, and that sexual harassment, in particular, was a systemic problem. The results of the current survey show the same challenges are still evident for female journalists.

“The vast majority of those who experienced sexual harassment indicated it had occurred in the past five years.

“This overwhelmingly indicates that sexual harassment is an ongoing, systemic problem that remains part of the work culture in media organisations in Australia today.”

The study also found 67% of interviewees thought men and women did not have an equal position when it came to decision-making processes.

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