Journalism and Women Symposium statement on sexual harassment claims at NPR

The Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) organization, which advocates for and supports women journalists, condemns in strongest terms the apparent abuses of power and inappropriate, predatory and sexist behavior that are coming to light with developments such as NPR Senior Vice President of News Mike Oreskes’ resignation following accusations of sexual harassment.

As an industry and a practice, we must recognize that such abuses can and do happen within our newsrooms and organizations, regardless of size and profile, and are not limited to those we cover as journalists.

In addition to the obvious need to put an unequivocal end to abusive and unprofessional behavior, we must also shine a light on journalism organizations when their leaders learn of potential problems, yet do nothing. Allowing sexism and abuses of power to persist sullies and jeopardizes our entire journalism community and the public trust we must uphold.

“Perhaps the silver lining in this shameful debacle is that we can finally put an end to unacceptable and abusive behavior,” said Yumi Wilson, President of JAWS. “As journalists, we must continue to work to uncover and responsibly report on these cases.  The cover-ups and secret settlement agreements must stop.”

JAWS provides an interactive and welcoming community for women in journalism and provides the tools, including skill sharing and mentoring, to help women advance in their careers, achieve pay parity and greater gender representation in newsrooms.