World Association of News Publishers

Sexual harassment in the media – A practical guide for employers & employees

Sexual harassment in the media – A practical guide for employers & employees


  • For non-members: Free EUR
  • For WAN-IFRA members: Free


>Download the report free of charge

In 2017, the #MeToo and Time's Up movements placed the problem of sexual harassment firmly in the spotlight. First launched in the United States, they have evolved into global campaigns that cut across borders, industries, race, cultures and gender.

The women and men behind these movements have provided our media industry with an opportunity to address sexual harassment head on.

Change begins with increased awareness, dialogue and, crucially, the creation of policies and procedures that help establish working environments that are free from sexual harassment.

This is a practical guide for both media organisations and media employees to help them to prevent and deal with sexual harassment at work. It is hopefully a first step in the journey towards a media industry that is free from sexual harassment, setting standards of best practice that can be replicated across industries globally; a small contribution to a much larger movement which WAN-IFRA is honoured to be part of.

What the guide does and does not do

While this guide addresses multiple issues and perspectives related to sexual harassment, it is not exhaustive. This guide does not focus on the sexual harassment and security threats faced by women journalists out in the field. There are excellent resources that do this already and they are referenced in this guide. It also does not address in any detail the pervasive and evolving problem of online harassment, an issue we hope to develop resources on soon. Finally, this guide does not and cannot reconcile the incalculable professional cost to female media professionals who have missed out on promotions, breaking stories or other opportunities for career progression as a result of having to navigate sexual harassment along their professional paths. This uneven playing field is one that the industry must confront openly and honestly to move forward.

We are indebted to our peers in the industry who have so openly shared their expertise, processes and internal tools to help us develop this practical guide. Together we will identify collective solutions to increase women's leadership and voices in the news.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is designed for both employers and employees within the media industry.

As a media employer – senior executive, manager, human resources – this guide will help you to:

  • Understand your professional and legal obligations to protect your employees against sexual harassment at work
  • Know how to identify sexual harassment in your organisation
  • Be able to identify employees most at risk of being sexually harassed
  • Develop an organisational sexual harassment policy
  • Develop preventative measures to stamp out sexual harassment in your organisation
  • Develop procedures to handle sexual harassment complaints
  • Develop strategies to provide support for employees who have been sexually harassed.

As a media employee or contract worker, this guide will help you to:

  • Know what your rights at work are
  • Know when you or someone else is being sexually harassed
  • Know what behaviour is not acceptable
  • Know what steps to take if you are being sexually harassed at work or you think someone else is
  • Know what to do if you are being accused of sexual harassment at work.

>Download the report free of charge

> A suite of practical tools for media employers and employees to deal with and prevent sexual harassment in their media organisations is available on the Women in News site.

Rebecca Zausmer for Women in News (WAN-IFRA); Jane Godia, Women in News, Kenya


Anton Jolkovski's picture

Anton Jolkovski


2018-05-29 15:59

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