Journalists Organize to Make Newsrooms Safe Work Environments

The Press Forward logo
The Press Forward logo

A group of current and former TV journalists have created a bold initiative called Press Forward, an independent and nonpartisan effort to stop sexual harassment and assault in local and national newsrooms, ensure safe working environments for women and men and create positive culture change in media.

Press Forward was formed by a group of women who have been victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault by prominent and powerful male TV journalists during the #MeToo movement that swept society.  As multiple accusations about Mark Halperin, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer and other powerful journalists have surfaced, the founders of Press Forward have come together to find solutions to prevent harassment and assault, protect journalists and create respectful newsroom environments.

“Our goal is to create a safe and fair working environment for women and men, where we can all do our best work. This is for all of us – our colleagues in the news business, the future journalists to come and, foremost, the readers and viewers we serve,” said Lara Setrakian, a cofounder of Press Forward and the CEO of News Deeply, a digital media company.

“This is for our daughters – so they can enter their careers with the level playing field we thought we had when we went to work. The movements #MeToo and #SilenceBreakers are a call to change the status quo,” said fellow cofounder Dianna Pierce Burgess, a former ABC News producer and currently a communications executive in London.

Press Forward plans to analyze, study and report on best practices and drive a range of ideas about how to create a better working environment. The group will ultimately publish a blueprint with guidance for national and local media organizations. As an independent initiative, Press Forward is in a unique position to provide an unbiased, all-encompassing report, with recommendations for future newsrooms and corporate work environments. The group also seeks to educate journalists about their rights and responsibilities, filling a vacuum that has long been needed in the media industry.

Press Forward is being incubated as a component fund within the Greater Washington Community Foundation amd plans to officially launch early in 2018. Stay tuned for updates via www.thepressforward.org, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

Source: Press Forward

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