Eight in 10 journalists experience threats, abuse or violence whilst working in the UK, survey reveals

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24th November 2021 18:07 - Media and PR

Eight in 10 journalists experience threats, abuse or violence whilst working in the UK: A recent survey by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, along with the Home Office, has revealed that 80% of journalists working in the UK have been exposed to threats, violence or abuse while at work. This is responsible for making over a third of female journalists not feel safe whilst working.
 
The study polled 360 male and female journalists in the UK between June and July 2021, as part of the government’s plan to protect journalists. A fifth (20%) of respondents said they do not report: abuse, intimidation, threats, violence, bullying, sexism, racism or homophobia because they believe it comes as part of their job.
 
When asked about how they receive abuse, just under a third said they had experienced it online, with 34% saying most of the abuse or threats had happened in person. Furthermore, just over a third said they had received abuse both online and offline.
 
In addition, of the 360 journalists observed, almost three-quarters stated they had experienced threats or abuse via social media.
 
The study also uncovered differences between genders and ethnicities, with men being more likely to experience violence or abuse. On the other hand, women were more likely to experience bullying, with half of female respondents saying they had experienced sexism because of their work.
 
Non-white journalists are more likely to report being affected by the abuse they receive, found the study, with one in five stating it had had an extreme affected on them; compared to one in 10 white respondents. Furthermore, double the number of journalists from an ethnic minority background reported that the incidents had extremely affected them individually.
 
Owen Meredith, News Media Association chief executive, said: "No-one should have to go to work fearing that they will be abused, assaulted or worse. Journalists are no different."


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