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Journalists demand more action against online harassment | National

New York (AP) — Associated Press’ Recent dismissal of a young reporter What she said on Twitter was that she unexpectedly turned the attention of businesses and industries to the backside of social media involvement: the online abuse that many journalists face on a daily basis.

At an internal meeting after Arizona-based reporter Emily Wilder was fired, several journalists expressed concern that AP could be attacked on the backs of employees from the outside.

“The situation with Emily Wilder caused this for many of our staff,” said AP sports writer Jenna Fryer, who spoke at one of the meetings, in a subsequent interview.

Wilder was dismissed last month after the company said a tweet about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict violated the Associated Press’s social media policy prohibiting them from giving their views on controversial issues. Before she was fired, a conservative group triggered an online campaign against her over her pro-Palestinian views, the Associated Press said it was not responding to pressure, but her dismissal was reported by the press. Fired a debate about whether he acted too carelessly.

Journalists are often threatened by racist or sexist slander, sneaky insults, rape, amputations, and other violence from online readers.

Online harassment is not unique to journalists. However, they are particularly vulnerable to attack because they are easily noticed by reporters, said Viktorya Vilk, program director of digital security and freedom of expression at PEN America, a literary and human rights organization. ..

The car racing flyer said he was “crying every day” about the harassment he received online. Coverage of the rope I found last year Alabama garage stall used by NASCAR’s only full-time black driver. She said she only heard about harassment from the company when the manager said that Mr. Flyer had received a lot of harassment.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m on a perfect island,” she said.

The press said that when journalists were attacked online, they often worked with law enforcement agencies. Still, after the meeting, the AP ordered an investigation into what could be done further.

“From my personal experience, we can say that we are not ignoring this,” said Julie Pace, AP’s Washington bureau chief. “All we have to do is go to Syria. It’s about dealing with what you’ve previously considered a safety threat to journalists, such as when you’re reporting a protest that can be confusing. “

For the past decade, the press has often pressured journalists to create social media profiles, recognizing that they are important to their brand, but they have been slow to understand the dangers. Said Wilk, who has worked with more than 10 media outlets on this issue.

Women and minorities are usually more serious. Birk believes that the overwhelming majority of white men in managerial positions has slowed the industry’s response.

Some members of the AP’s racial and ethnic reporting team edited after Wilder fired in fear of whether the company would support them if their articles or tweets were controversial. He said he approached his Andale Gross. Reporters he supervises, including blacks, Latin Americans, and Asian Americans, frequently experience racially discriminatory injuries and threats. And AP security addresses many of them, he said.

The story of the team two weeks ago Racism in the army He said it caused many hateful messages from those who said they were in the army, essentially proving the point of the article.

“I don’t want people to think that it should be accepted or tolerated,” Gross said. “But that involves an area of ​​writing. Everything we produce. I know that the story can cope with the onslaught of racism. “

The National Association of Black Journalists provides assistance on this issue through information sessions and webins where members meet in person, said NABJ President Dorothy Tucker.

Nearly three-quarters of the 714 female journalists surveyed said they had been attacked online. Research Released in April by the International Center for UNESCO and Journalists. 12% sought medical or psychological help. According to the survey, 4% quit their jobs and 2% quit the company altogether.

Margaret Sullavan, columnist at The Washington Post Written in March About receiving “a vicious misogyny and sexual delusion to break me apart”.

“If you don’t go there, it’s hard to understand how serious the instability is, how it makes you think twice about your next article, or it’s worth being a journalist. It’s hard to even understand if it’s there, “she wrote.

The New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz wrote on Twitter about her online “unimaginable” attack this spring: “The harassment and slander I had to endure over the past year. It’s no exaggeration to say that the campaign destroyed my life. No one needs to have such an experience, “she writes.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald and Fox News channel host Tucker Carlson downplayed her concerns.

“Did you break your life? Really?” Carlson said during the broadcast. “By most people’s standards, Taylor Lorenz seems to have a pretty good life. In fact, it’s one of the best lives in the country.”

Many journalists keep their silence out of the attitude and feeling that they can’t really do anything about online harassment. AP veteran sports writer Anne M. Peterson said she was being threatened with obscene photos by someone who horrifiedly attached a Google image of her home. She has never reported an incident to management.

AP’s pace of writing articles and appearing on television said she was the subject of abuse and had to deal with the employees she manages.

“This is part of the job,” she said in an interview. “I know I have a high-profile job …. and there are moments that really cross the line, or If it affects your personal safety or your family, you may think, “No, this is not something I have to put up with.” This is unacceptable and scary. “

“That’s why we don’t want to normalize it,” she said. “We don’t want people to feel that they have to sit there and receive it.”

Online attacks are generally getting worse. The Pew Research Center said: In January, 41% of adults in the United States said they were harassed online, up from 35% in 2017. Since 2014, the percentage of respondents who have been threatened or sexually harassed online has doubled in both cases.

There are signs that the news editorial office is taking this issue more seriously.

One symptom is the increased willingness to publicly support journalists under attack. That’s what happened this winter The Washington Post reporter Kim Sun Hin asked Senator Lisa Murkowski about her reaction to President Joe Biden’s budget ministerial candidate Neera Tanden tweeting about Murkowski. Was criticized.

The attack was “terribly misguided and a dishonest endeavor of intimidation. What she did was basic journalism,” said Stephen Ginsburg, Kim’s boss, Post’s national editor.

Vilk advises the press to conduct an anonymous internal investigation to determine the extent of the problem and investigate social media policies. Most policies focus on what journalists should and shouldn’t do, not what happens when viewers are attacked, she said.

She said organizations need to provide cybersecurity training and support, legal and mental health counseling, and access to services that allow employees to scrub their personal information from the Web. Companies must also recognize that harassment is often more organized than it looks and be prepared to investigate the source of the campaign, she said.

The AP has set a deadline for the Staff Committee on September 1 to propose ideas for improving how to deal with harassment.

Journalists demand more action against online harassment | National

Source link Journalists demand more action against online harassment | National

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