Journalism is a calling, and getting a story to print or air requires a strong team and sometimes nothing short of a miracle. Newsrooms have a unique challenge in that they operate under intense deadlines with limited room for mistakes. Journalists can also be demanding – it’s what makes them so effective at their jobs! Balancing this unique environment while establishing civility and respect among colleagues to get the work done requires leadership.
There are some lines that cannot be crossed, however, and no employee should experience sexual harassment, or made to feel the workplace is demeaning or traumatic. It is your responsibility to create trust with your employees by establishing safety – both in preventing workplace misconduct and also in allowing staff to feel comfortable to come forward to share concerns. Work with your HR partner to communicate guidance. Ask for feedback from your staff what you could do better.
For some newsrooms, the revelations of abuses of power were a shock for those in leadership positions but unfortunately a reality for those more vulnerable in the business. We at Press Forward first encourage you to be an ally for those experiencing harassment and start the difficult work of culture change. It’s not only the right thing to do, it is the law. Press Forward’s key initiative will be our in-depth study that we expect will reveal a blueprint for new and lasting solutions in newsrooms and beyond to allow journalists to do their best work. While we complete this effort, please take a look at these pieces on things you can do today as a leader in your field and sign up for our newsletter for more information on this topic.