Death threats. Racist taunts. Vows of violence. Inside the increasingly personal attacks targeting Canadian female journalists are the same old challenges: finding ways to convey compelling stories without letting people call into question the very nature of our democratic institutions.
The Canadian Press
In the past few weeks, there’s been a renewed focus on the role of women in journalism, with a renewed public interest in female journalists’ stories.
And the attacks against the women journalists who are courageous are becoming ever more personal and often threatening.
In Canada, only one male reporter working a beat is considered a senior journalist by the National Council of Canadian Newspapers.
At the same time, Canadian women working in journalism are more likely to work in the newsroom, or on deadline. They also face more challenges as they enter the field.
A look across the country shows that the average age of a female journalist in print or digital newsrooms is about 35 — higher than male journalists in comparable jobs, who are generally in their 30s.
At the same time, women who seek jobs in journalism face challenges.
The first challenge for women newsrooms is the shortage of women in the profession, because women tend to opt out of traditionally male-dominated fields such as journalism.
The second is the nature of the news industry itself. In the U.S., women account for just 14 percent of newsroom positions, even though they report for newspapers owned by the same company.
These challenges have created an increased need for female journalists, and for more coverage of their stories.
“When you watch the news, you see there are about three females for every male reporter on the night news,” said Anne Marie Macdonald, a former vice-president for news at CBC.
“We’re trying to get the female side of the story out there and to have more female voices, and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re really trying to elevate our voices and amplify women’s voices.”
For example, when it comes to stories covering