When the journalists are guilty of what they condemn

Photo: Theo Wargo Agence France-Presse Getty Images
The presenter and tv journalist Charlie Rose has been fired from CBS last November, after eight women have made allegations of sexual harassment at his place.

Who has lived through the media, will perish by the media. Éric Salvail knows something, as Charlie Rose.

The stratospheric aura of the latter has been blown out of a sudden, like a candle, at the end of November 2017, when the Washington Post published an article about his multiple sexual misconduct in the workplace. The interviewer extraordinaire is exhibited in front of female colleagues in her dressing room, the tripotait behind-the-scenes or harassing on the phone.


The article summarised the testimonies concurring of eight women covering the end of the years 1990 to 2011. The reporter Amy Brittain and a colleague from the Washington Post spent about three weeks in this survey so delicate that at the beginning of their work, no victim didn’t want to talk to your visor lifted.


“For us, it was essential to have witnesses identified : we needed our work to be flawless,” said the reporter participating Tuesday in a seminar on sexual misconduct in the news media, held at the Newseum, a museum of the press of the american capital.


The victims of the Charlie Rose understood the importance to identify itself to the public. It has taken hours of conversation to convince some.


The tsunami of denunciations of the attacks triggered by the revelation in the media of the case, Weinstein has won other huge stars of journalism and the news media-americans like Matt Lauer, licensee of NBC’s Today Show in November. Here, this fall, the journalistic investigations have debunked personalities in high-profile cases such as Gilbert Rozon or “Giovanni” Wide.


“Without the courage of the press, the movement would not have been triggered, including the movement #MeToo “, said Paul Fahri, also of the Washington Post, also invited to participate in the Power Shift Summit, the Summit of the shift of power relationships. He generously pointed out the work of investigation release of the reporters of the New York Times. “What they have done is essential. “


A feedback loop


The day of discussion was attended by approximately 150 people, largely women, to nine against one. All those who took the floor were related in one way or another in the media sector. The case, Weinstein is also a kind of feedback loop linking the effect to his own cause.

Photo: Evan Agostini Associated Press

Mr. Fahri has itself published a story based on the testimonies of the five complainants against the host Mark Halperin of time when he was working for ABC News. After the revelations of the New York Times, a person telephoned the journalist to describe Mr. Halperin, a huge star of the tv then linked to MSNBC, as ” a Harvey Weinstein of the info “.


“These are very serious charges which put an end to a career,” said the reporter. It is thus necessary to work very carefully. “


The reporter, Lara Setrakian was one of the five complainants. She agreed to testify openly. “The five women who have denounced Halperin no longer working for traditional media,” she said. We no longer trust our industry. “


Ms. Setrakian was then founded News Deeply, which provides in-depth coverage on subjects of social neglect, and has co-founded Press Forward to encourage women to denounce the perpetrators and to develop a climate of zero tolerance.




The day’s discussion highlighted the structural problems of discrimination that affect the news industry. Many testimonies have come back to this central idea that to transform a business, it is necessary to change those and those who work there. In other words, if the culture of harassment is still tolerated, it is the case of hegemonic men who reproduce.


The media are neither more nor less than their companies. And what is observed in the United States appears in good part also applies here :


Intersectionality. The word has not been mentioned, but the thing was constantly evoked in discussions to remember that if women are discriminated against, some are more than others, and those of the minorities (sexual or racial) undergoing multiple forms of domination. For example, it has been question of the criteria by which men can judge the professional, which they employ and which are found in waves, as if by chance, very often those which meet the appearance standards that white male heterosexuals to enact and cherish.


Diversity. Madhulika Sikka, an editor at PBS, extends the problem of uniformity of the press room for the source of a lack of diversity of points of view. “In how many channels is it seen as natural that a panel of four white men gives his point of view on the company ? request-t-it. What would you think if five women from non-white comprised of a panel ? One would think that they are fomenting a revolution ! This is not normal. Diversity should also mean diversity of words. “


Hiring. In 2028, the majority of young Americans from 18 to 35 years of age will not be white, noted Raju Narisetti, president of Gizmodo Media Group, a group that includes the site satirical The Onion. “We’re based in New York, and it is very easy to hire graduates from NYU,” he continued. The HQ of Gizmodo nearby also the famous school of journalism, Columbia University. “We ask our managers to look beyond and be more inclusive in hiring. “A participant stated that three photoreporters in four people in the world are men. The eye male would dominate therefore up to the images of the world press.


Wages. The issue of equal pay has also been discussed. The companies do not often reveal these data. Carrie Gracie, the editor-in-chief of the BBC in China, has just resigned to criticize the efforts are judged to be insufficient for the noble institution to reduce inequities in pay between men and women. Participating in the Washington, dc, requested statistics on promotion and retention rates of women in the newsrooms.




These through the media system are well documented. Ms. Setrakian reminds us that the stories about her attacker, Halperin, extend over three decades. In a sense, the system has, therefore, been delivered and the victim of this aggressor in the series, ” she said. The offices of human resources are also not bleached of the review of Washington.


“I cover the media for years and they are not more transparent than other industries, says reporter Paul Fahri of the Washington Post. In fact, they are even more hypocritical. “


So what can businesses do to information to change their corporate culture ?


Joanne Lipman, a former editor of USA Today, will publish at the end of the least That’s What She Said, sub-titled What men need to know (and what women need to learn) about working relationships.


“This is a book about solutions. To address this problem of aggression, must be addressed globally. Every woman knows what it means to be diminished, looked down upon, judged on its appearance. It is necessary to address it. “


Ms. Lipman is advocating for more women at the head of the organizations, and to get there, she focuses on mechanisms encouraging employees to apply when the opportunity presents itself. Only one-third of the leadership positions of the american media would be occupied by women.


It has also been much discussion of working conditions that change women in power, the debate on harassment and systemic discrimination resulting in social and political problems. A delegate of the pure player Politico has long praised the three months of parental leave granted by his company, an exception in the United States. All new quebec parents already have a right-to-four times more, not to mention the advantage of the child care $ 8 per day.


Many workers recognize that it is necessary to give time to the changes, and in the same breath as the movement #MeToo maybe just speed things up, as shown in the aptly named Power Shift Summit. That has been changed by the media will change the media…

Ce text is part of our “Outlook” section.

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