Claiming that male journalists Mark Halperin, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer represent what they are up against in newsrooms, women reporters have joined the #MeToo movement and formed a group aimed at changing the media’s culture.
“Our goal is to create a safe and fair working environment for women and men, where we can all do our best work,” said Lara Setrakian, a cofounder of the new group Press Forward.
The formation of the support group came as a top professor at one of the nation’s leading journalism schools demanded an end to “assholes” in the newsroom.
“Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin, Charlie Rose, and all the other fallen sexual harassers had one thing in common. They were notorious assholes,” said Marie Gilot of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Giving her prediction for the Nieman Lab blog, she wrote, “In 2018, newsrooms adopt a no-assholes rule. You want to be an asshole? Sorry, you can’t work here.”
She said newsroom bad boys can be costly. “We thought it was the price to pay for the talent of great men. Maybe being an asshole was even a sign of great talent. It was a sign, all right. A sign that something was very, very wrong. And the price? Toxic workplaces, talent drain, skewed covering, lawsuits, long-term damage to news organizations’ reputation and credibility, and loss of revenue from advertisers, subscribers, and members,” she blogged.
Press Forward’s announcement also cited the three journalists fired amid allegations of misconduct.
“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.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org