What We Do
Our Mission: Press Forward exists to create a safe work environment and elevate the stature of women in the workplace, beginning in the newsroom.
What We Seek to Do:
- Action: Foster zero-tolerance policies for sexual harassment and assault in the workplace so that women and men can do their best work in environments that are safe and respectful.
- Accountability: Identify and measure whether the journalism industry is adhering to the law, and work with academic institutions to create and enforce workplace standards.
- Change: Assess the industry through a blueprint for change and identify mechanisms that will truly transform the culture in which our press freedoms are exercised, including great management and leadership cultures.
How We Will Do it:
- Innovate Sexual Harassment and Assault Training: Because current harassment training is ineffective, if not broken, we will partner with the Poynter Institute and work with newsrooms across the country to raise awareness and to educate, with in-person training and original content.
- Culture Assessments: We will work with newsroom leaders to help them assess workplace environments. This will entail conducting focus groups and collecting informal and confidential feedback from their workforce and delivering specific recommendations to improve the workplace environment, especially for women.
- Industry Blueprint: We will conduct a six-month study with newsrooms across the country to understand the state of the industry culture and make concrete recommendations for change. Partnering with the International Women’s Media Foundation and Newseum, we will share data and recommendations.
- Legal Defense Fund: In collaboration with , we will create a legal defense fund for the vulnerable in the media industry so that those in critical but lower-profile positions also have a voice and have access to legal advice when they face discrimination or harassment in the workplace.
- Thought Leadership on Solutions: Partnering with Poynter, we will offer best-practice policy guidelines and standards, together with original editorials on specific solutions for the industry. Working with journalism schools across America, we will develop specifics into curriculums on preventing abuses of power in the workplace and covering related issues with professionalism and integrity.
Why This Matters
This is about the integrity of the press. Responsible news coverage matters to every American citizen. But the press cannot be effective unless those in power in the newsroom believe everyone in the newsroom matters. Human decency and respect must be at the root of all we do in journalism. From the intern to the production assistant to the producer to the anchor, every person – woman and man alike – deserves to be treated with respect and civility so that all engaged in the endeavor can perform to their highest ability and fulfill their mission of serving the public.