The state of female broadcast journalists in the age of the Harvey Weinstein scandal
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When the New York Times broke the news of the decades of sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, it marked a turning point in the national reckoning of sexual harassment. At a time when harassment in the workplace has become topical in the public eye, I conducted nine interviews with male and female journalists in Washington, D.C. about their experiences with gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the television and digital news industry. I interviewed four men and five women with professional experience ranging from less than two years to more than thirty years in broadcast journalism. My findings paint a picture of an industry in flux that still has gender discrimination ingrained in its culture. For the most part, young women I spoke to felt like equal players in the newsroom. However, women still have to overcome workplace hurdles that men do not on a daily basis. In particular, female journalists who work in the field experience sexual harassment regularly, and they consider it a “necessary part of the job” that they must endure. Women have not yet cracked the glass ceiling, as men continue to dominate the high-management and executive levels in the industry. As TV broadcast news undergoes structure changes to adapt to the digital space, there is potential for a more collaborative and equality-driven work culture to emerge.