TORONTO – Unifor Media Council is launching a new media discussion paper—Breaking the News: Media Workers Under Attack—which focuses on confronting the increasing harassment of media workers.
“We hear stories from our media members all the time about the hate, racism, homophobia and misogyny they face on a daily basis, online and in-the-field,” said Unifor Media Council Chair Julie Kotsis.
“It’s important to not only put this harassment under a microscope, but examine what we, as a union, can do to support our members, lobby the government and news organizations and drive change to prevent and stop the abuse and harassment.”
The discussion paper was released following the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression gala, where two Unifor media members received an award for their brave efforts in fighting against misogyny and their online abusers.
The discussion paper helps define harassment and how media workers face particular forms of harassment, finding women, workers of colour, Indigenous workers, Two-spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual+ (2SLGBTQIA+) workers and from other equity-deserving groups disproportionately affected by harassment.
The paper also looks at what is driving harassment, the fundamental harm it has on democracy and silencing of journalists and Unifor’s multi-prong approach to confronting harassment, including supporting victims of harassment with practical, flexible and
victim-focused supports, demanding accountability and promoting prevention and holding digital platforms accountable.
It examines the roles of media employers, media unions, journalism schools, and the criminal justice system as well as legislative regulatory solutions and harassment in Canada and abroad.
“This opens the discussion for government, employers and the public to gain a better understanding of the frequency and severity of the harassment that media workers are experiencing and how we move forward to eliminate the harassment and its effects,” said Randy Kitt, Director of Unifor’s Media sector.
Unifor represents more than 10,000 media workers, including journalists in the broadcast and print news industry.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.