The newsroom of Washington-based National Public Radio is a stressed-out mess.
What started with top-level male executives being shown the door amid sexual harassment claims has morphed into an outburst of troublesome issues that the bosses are grappling with, including union issues and even President Trump's media criticism.
COO of NPR started “listening sessions” after high profile firings. “Sexual harassment was just the tip of the iceberg”—complaints about power imbalance, stress, other work problems also surfaced #PowerShiftSummit— Rebecca Baker (@RBakerNY) January 9, 2018
Loren Mayor, chief operating officer, was addressing harassment at a Newseum summit, telling of nonstop meetings with staffers, when she revealed: “Sexual harassment was just the tip of the iceberg. It was like this spark that just lit up this whole powder keg.”
At the Power Shift Summit, she added, "It opened up all of these broader issues about power dynamics, about inequalities in the organization, racial issues, it ran very deep. And it also brought everything to the surface. We had just gone through a difficult union negotiation in the summer."
Powerful themes including changes in sexual harassment training, providing solution-based alternatives for employees facing abuse & a renewed emphasis on diversity & inclusiveness in America’s newsrooms emerged at the #Newseum’s #PowerShiftSummit. #TBT https://t.co/l4EWGenPlV— Newseum (@Newseum) January 11, 2018
And, she said, "A lot of the anger from that just sort of tapped directly into, and even this broader climate was in there too, being in a newsroom, feeling under attack every day as a member of the media, that sense of stress also all came forward."
The summit was praised by participants as a powerful demonstration of pushback against sexual harassment in news operations and unity among those targeted by the harassers.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com