Media outlets refuse to take my reports of online harassment seriously
They've chosen the misogynist.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking with young journalists who are part of a new “women in media” club at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. (Men are in the club too. Ally it up, allies!) The topic of the hour was how to be a journalist on social media — and survive the threats and sexual and other harassment that come with that.
Honestly, when I was asked what advice I could give the students on how to balance sharing opinions on social media with what media outlets expect from you, I had to laugh and say, “Why are you asking me? Clearly I have no idea what I’m doing.” But actually, that’s not true. I’ve learned a lot recently about what news organizations do and do not (or will and will not) expect. I told the students that if they had any inkling that they might want to work in straight news, they should stop posting their opinions immediately, especially on politics.
In terms of the other component of the talk, living with constant hate and harassment as a female journalist — there’s really not much any of us can do about it. It’s just a fact of life for myself and many of my colleagues. Our outlets expect us to have a social media presence, and between that and having a public byline, the crap piles on. And on.
It’s not that we accept it. Not at all. My women journalist friends and I convene all the time to vent. But my MO has always been to just block a troll and report him to the social media company. (That has usually not been particularly effective, unfortunately.)
A few days before my talk at CUNY, however, instead of simply blocking a troll as usual, I did something I’d never done before.
I went on Twitter and named and shamed the man, a German journalist named Friedemann Diederichs.
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