Network for misconduct victims wants to make newsrooms saferMarch 13, 2018 4:17pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A support network for victims of sexual misconduct in newsrooms has appointed an advisory board that includes CNN's Jake Tapper and PBS' Judy Woodruff and wants to fund a study to give news organizations specific ideas on keeping women safer.

The group Press Forward launched a website Tuesday and was hosting a panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington that included Tapper, Woodruff and former ABC "Nightline" host Ted Koppel.

The group of sexual misconduct victims in journalism came together late last year following stories that led to the firings of well-known figures including Matt Lauer of "Today," Charlie Rose of "CBS This Morning" and NBC News' Mark Halperin. Now they want to go beyond providing each other support.

"There is so much that we want to do," said Dianna Burgess, a former "Nightline" producer who is one of the group's organizers. "We really want to work together with people within the industry and outside the industry to create safer environments for women. ... We sort of feel like the system failed in so many ways."

Press Forward's website defines sexual assault and offers advice to women for what they should do if they feel harassed. It also lists "rules of thumb" for people in dealing with the opposite sex at work.

Rule one: "Don't be a jerk."

Burgess said it was important for newsroom leaders not to feel threatened by Press Forward. "The only way to do this is to be collaborative," she said. "We want to work with newsrooms and victims and experts."

The study will let experts weigh in on the best steps news organizations can take to create safe environments, and the best way for newsroom managers to be trained. Even after the firings of prominent journalists for misconduct issues, Burgess said Press Forward members still heard regularly from young journalists concerned about what they'd experienced and their fear of retaliation if they reported anything.

"You have all of these amazing women who could have been the next Judy Woodruff or Katie Couric who left the business because of their experience," said Eleanor McManus, another Press Forward member. McManus, co-founder of a Washington public relations firm, was a 21-year-old job seeker at ABC News when she said Halperin tried to kiss her in a meeting his office. Burgess didn't want to discuss the misconduct issues she faced.

Other advisory board members include former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, whose harassment lawsuit against the late Fox News Channel chairman Roger Ailes led to his ouster; CNN "New Day" anchor Alisyn Camerota, who also accused Ailes of harassment (Ailes denied all allegations before he died); PBS "NewsHour" executive producer Sara Just; NPR anchor Mary Louise Kelly; former Al-Jazeera America executive Kate O'Brian; and employment attorney Ari Wilkenfeld.

Press Forward said it is working with the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank, the International Women's Media Foundation and the Time's Up group, among others.

"What we wanted to do is leave a lasting impression for generations to come and we think the time is right," Burgess said. "It's a tipping point."

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2017 file photo, CNN president Jeff Zucker attends the 11th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute in New York. Zucker says that rival Fox News Channel is a propaganda machine that is doing an incredible disservice to the country. Zucker spoke Thursday at the Financial Times Future of News conference.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
CNN chief Jeff Zucker says Fox News is propaganda machine
Former Fox News anchor sues O'Reilly for defamationA former Fox News anchor has sued Bill O'Reilly for defamation over what she contends was his "smear campaign" against her and other women who have accused him of sexual misconduct
FILE - In this file photo taken on Thursday, March 20, 2014, Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky speaks to members of the State Duma, lower parliament chamber prior to voting during a plenary session in Moscow, Russia. The Russian parliament’s commission on ethics decided Wednesday March 21, 2018 that the groping accusations against Leonid Slutsky, head of the State Duma's foreign affairs committee, were unfounded. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
Russian lawmaker cleared of sexual harassment accusations
ARCHIVO - Esta foto de archivo del 8 de enero del 2017 muestra a Harvey Weinstein llegando a la fiesta de The Weinstein Company y Netflix para celebrar los Globos de Oro en Beverly Hills, California. (Foto por Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, Archivo)
Weinstein Co.'s bankruptcy could bring new wave of accusers
FILE- In this June 17, 2017, file photo, Bill Cosby exits the Montgomery County Courthouse after a mistrial was declared in Norristown, Pa. Cosby's lawyers are asking Judge Steven O'Neill in his upcoming sexual assault retrial to step aside, arguing he could be seen as biased because his wife is a social worker who's described herself as an "advocate for assault victims." Cosby's lawyers said Thursday, March 22, 2018, that some of O'Neill's rulings, including his decision to let five additional accusers testify, could give the appearance he's influenced by his wife's work. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Cosby wants judge ousted over wife's sex-assault advocacy
Wynn Resorts wants yearslong case nearing trial movedWynn Resorts wants a yearslong civil case set to go trial next month to be moved out of Las Vegas because of the media's coverage of its founder's departure from the company amid sexual misconduct allegations

Related Searches

Related Searches