“It comes with the job”: how journalists navigate experiences and perceptions of gendered online harassment

João Miranda*, Maria João Silveirinha, Susana Sampaio-Dias, Bibiana Garcez, Bruno Dias, Mateus Noronha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

This article examines how online abuse is experienced and tackled by journalists in Portugal, and addresses the prevalence of online harassment and violence against women journalists and their perceptions of the issue. Theoretically, the article bridges the research on online harassment and gender in journalism. Empirically, it draws on a nationwide survey of journalists combined with data from semi-structured interviews conducted with 25 women journalists to explore the gendered experiences of online abuse. Journalists feel an increasing hostility aggravated by the digital environment. Half of the surveyed professionals experienced online abuse, including sexual harassment. Journalists evidenced low trust in protection mechanisms and feelings of resignation towards online abuse, seen as intrinsic to the job. The interviews further revealed a perceived connection between gender and online abuse: women recognized the sexualized nature of online abuse, which they linked to the broader cultural context of gender inequality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5128–5148
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
Volume17
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • online harassment
  • women journalists
  • gendered online abuse
  • online safety

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