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New Research Benchmarks the Extent of Sexual Harassment in Russian Newsrooms

2021-12-03. New research benchmarking the extent of sexual harassment in Russian newsrooms has been released by WAN-IFRA and ANRI-Media. This is part of a larger multi-region study WAN-IFRA Women in News (WIN) has conducted with City, University of London. The study is the largest of its kind to be conducted in Russia.

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by Vincent Peyrègne vincent.peyregne@wan-ifra.org | December 3, 2021

The results suggest that 22% of media professionals have experienced either verbal or physical sexual harassment. This mainly affects women – more than 1 in 4 reported experiencing sexual harassment. A fellow employee was the most common perpetrator at 37%.

This prevalence is in stark contrast to the perspective of executives, the vast majority of who did not believe sexual harassment is a problem. Fifteen out of 16 of those interviewed by ANRI-Media reported that they did not believe sexual harassment to be an issue in the media industry, while recognising that it is an issue generally in Russia.

Of those who experienced sexual harassment, only 26% reported it to management, with action being taken just over half the time. These low reporting rates were cited to be due to fear – fear of retaliation, loss of employment, being negatively labelled or other negative impacts on their job.

Lack of reporting mechanisms perpetuates failure to report

In addition, 17.1% of those who had been harassed said they did not report their experience because their organisation did not have a reporting mechanism. This lack of process is also reflected by the 14 of 16 executives who said they did not know if their organisations had a sexual harassment policy in place.

Media organisations looking for advice on dealing with sexual harassment can find resources at https://sexualharassment.womeninnews.org/en/.

The study surveyed 176 media professionals and interviewed 16 executives in Russia in 2021. The full results can be found at https://sexualharassment.womeninnews.org/research/index.html.

The Russian research on sexual harassment in the media industry forms part of an 18-month global study undertaken by WIN and City, University of London that incorporates findings from 19 countries throughout Africa, Southeast Asia, Eurasia, the Arab Region and select countries in Central America. This study builds on research done in 2018, which identified a gap in available data on sexual harassment in media, specifically in these regions. A visual data tool illustrating country and regional findings will be released later this month.

This study is the latest in an ongoing partnership between ANRI-Media and WAN-IFRA to address inequity in the media industry throughout Russia. ANRI-Media has also translated and distributed a practical guide on how to increase gender balance in news content (Russian version here), as well as a toolkit on managing and mitigating sexual harassment in the newsroom (Russian version here). The two resources were developed by the WAN-IFRA Women in News Programme.

Download here a printable version of the results.


CONTACT AND INQUIRIES

Inquiries: Anna Koshmann, Program Director at ANRI-Media | akoshman@anri-media.ru


ABOUT WAN-IFRA WOMEN IN NEWS

WAN-IFRA Women in News (WIN) aims to increase women’s leadership and voices in the news. It does so by equipping women journalists and editors with the skills, strategies, and support networks to take on greater leadership positions within their media. In parallel, WIN partners with media organisations to identify industry-led solutions to close the gender gap in their newsrooms, boardrooms, and content. WIN is currently working with more than 80 media organisations from 17 countries: Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe (WIN Africa); Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine (WIN Arab Region); and Indonesia, Myanmar, The Philippines and Vietnam (WIN Southeast Asia).

Vincent Peyrègne

Vincent Peyrègne took up duties as Chief Executive Officer of WAN-IFRA in 2012. Prior to joining WAN-IFRA, he was Head of Development at Edipresse in Switzerland with responsibility for audience insights and editorial marketing research and product development, before joining the office of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication as senior adviser to the Minister.

vincent.peyregne@wan-ifra.org

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