At war on Twitter? : the impact of gendered harassment across digital platforms on high-profile women in broadcast journalism : a 60-credit Journalism project presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Journalism at Massey University, New Zealand
This research project explores the impact of gendered harassment across digital platforms on
high-profile women in broadcast journalism. The journalistic feature article collated stories
of gendered harassment that women journalists had experienced online, most of which they
had not spoken publicly about before. The interviews conducted for this feature found a lack
of policy in newsrooms to address gendered harassment, and no strong awareness or
understanding of the issue in other places journalists might expect to be able to seek redress,
such as ACC, counselling services, or their union. Scholarly research into the effects of
repeated exposure to trauma on journalists is a fledgling field, and journalists’ exposure to
trauma in digital spaces is even less examined or understood. This leaves a broad scope for
further research. This project found, through a content analysis, evidence that women
broadcasters were subject to more gendered feedback than men. While women broadcasters
interviewed said they could weather abuse, most acknowledged that gendered harassment
took some form of toll, and that they had been forced to develop mechanisms to cope with it.
In keeping with global trends, this project found most New Zealand newsrooms surveyed are
not proactively addressing the problem.