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#Tip: Guidelines for interviewing victims of sexual and gender-based violence

June 3rd, 2014 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Sexual and gender-based violence has been getting a lot of press recently, for good reason.

The abhorrent crimes against women and girls committed by men in southern California and northern India have brought the topic to the fore but, according to a 2013 study from the World Health Organisation, one in three women worldwide will experience sexual or gender-based violence at some point in their lives. These are extreme cases of a widespread problem.

While reporting these crimes and addressing the socio-cultural background that can motivate the perpetrators is a vital role of the media, telling the story of the victims, both male and female, is just as important.

The recent #YesAllWomen hashtag has let many women tell their own stories. But when a victim of sexual or gender-based violence agrees to an interview, there are additional considerations a journalist must take into account – to respect the victim’s rights and aid their recovery.

Last year, the human rights non-profit Witness published guidelines for interviewing survivors of such crimes, including tips on approaching the interview, conducting the interview, and professional behaviour after the interview. They are well worth remembering.

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#jpod – Gender and conflict journalism: How far have we come?

March 16th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Podcast

Image by RamyRaoof on Flickr. Some rights reserved

This week’s podcast was prompted by an event held by the International News Safety Institute, to mark the launch of their new publication ‘No Woman’s Land’, which addresses the issues facing women journalists reporting from the frontline across the world.

After the event spoke to a number of women journalists – those who have experienced life as a local journalist in a conflict zone as well as the women in senior roles on international news desks in the UK – to find out their past experiences and assess where we are today and what still needs to be done.

Interviewees include:

  • Shahira Amin, Egyptian freelance journalist and former journalist for Nile TV
  • Liliane Landor, controller of language services for Global News at the BBC
  • Florentine Kwizera, producer on the Great Lakes service on the BBC World Service
  • Sarah Whitehead, head of international news at Sky News

Read Frances Harrison’s feature on life as a mother and foreign correspondent here.

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the iTunes podcast feed.

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Guardian study finds just 22.6% of journalists are female

December 6th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Data, Journalism

The New York Times newsroom in 1942. By Marjory Collins [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 The Guardian today published the findings from its research into gender in the press, based on “a simple count of newspaper bylines” and those appearing on the Today programme on Radio 4.

The bylines were said to have been taken from articles published in a total of seven newspapers from 13 June to 8 July. The Guardian reports that the research, led by Kira Cochrane, found that women journalists accounted for just 22.6 per cent, as opposed to 77.4 per cent for male reporters.

National papers were all shown to have large gender gaps in byline averages. The Daily Mail and the Guardian recorded the lowest male dominance at 68 per cent male and 72 per cent male respectively.

In its ever-open approach to data the Guardian has made all the data available as a downloadable spreadsheet and is asking its audience to get involved by posing the question: “What can you do with this data?”

Read more here.

Research published earlier this year, commissioned by the Women in Journalism group, found that almost three quarters of journalists working in the national press were male.

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#IWD: International Women’s Day for journalists

March 8th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Journalism

Today is International Women’s Day, a global day “celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future,” partnered by Thomson Reuters.

in Mirror Ed's office working on International Women's Day su... on TwitpicLots of publications have related coverage, including the Mirror, with a special supplement out today. Here’s a twitpic from Sarah Brown (@sarahbrown10), who was a guest editor (left). will be publishing a number of themed articles throughout the day, addressing gender issues in journalism / media. If you’d like us to publish or link to your own piece, please get in touch: judith [at] or @jtownend on Twitter.

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