February 27, 2013

A new Tumblr, Said to Lady Journos, highlights comments (mostly sexist) that female journalists hear on the job.

Here’s a sampling:

  • “Are you sure you know the game well enough to keep score?” — a father at a high school baseball game
  • “If you got shrapnel in your ass, I’d be happy to take it out.” — Contractor to a female journalist at a US military base in Iraq
  • “You, me and that camera could do some dirty things.” — Said to a freshman photojournalist at a local bar as she shot a school assignment

Some comments show sexism within the industry:

  • “You might want to cover your ears, young lady.” — A male broadcaster, discussing the details of a murder trial with a female newspaper intern covering that trial
  • “They let you carry that big lens?” — TV photographer, to a female photojournalist carrying a 400mm lens at the scene of an accident

People can anonymously submit comments to the Tumblr, which launched three weeks ago and started gaining attention this week. The person behind the Tumblr and the related Twitter account has remained anonymous. (Poynter has DM’d the account and is waiting to hear back.) Last year, Ann Friedman started the site Lady Journos, which highlights the work of female journalists.

Many of the Tumblr comments highlight sexist remarks that male sources have made to the female journalists interviewing them. In a related New Republic article today, Marin Cogan quotes The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta:

“I think journalism schools should have workshops for young female reporters on managing old men who have no game and think, because you’re listening to them intently and probing what they think and feel, that you’re romantically interested, rather than conducting an interview. … Every female reporter I know has had this issue at one time or another.”

Here’s what journalists and others are saying about the Tumblr …

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As managing editor of The Poynter Institute’s website, Poynter.org, I report on the media news industry, edit the site’s How To section, and moderate the…
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