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:
- Educate: Educate through our initiatives and raise awareness amongst the industry leadership, employees, and most important, with the journalists of tomorrow so that they will embrace a workplace where 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 striving towards the highest standards of practice that they expect from the organizations, governments and individuals they cover. Work alongside academic institutions, journalism schools, industry unions and organizations 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: Press Forward is pleased to announce an industry-wide study on the state of women in American newsrooms, conducted in partnership with a leading global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org. The report will be part of the annual Women in the Workplace study, which is released by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org. It is the largest comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America. This report has been published annually since 2015, and has included 462 companies employing almost 20 million people. Press Forward will act as a convener for news organizations interested in participating in the 2019 study, helping to connect them with McKinsey & LeanIn.Org’s research. The data will be anonymized and aggregated to understand the state of women in the American press, including issues surrounding harassment. Press Forward will also work with McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org to tailor findings into meaningful recommendations, unique to the news business, as part of the industry report. The results will be published in late 2019.
- 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.