Reporting the Gender Reckoning
In October last year, the New York Times published the first story alleging decades of sexual misconduct from Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein.
As more allegations arise – against Weinstein and others; inside and outside of Hollywood – the Times continues to play a crucial role in the evolving #metoo movement. But what were the barriers, in the media and in the broader culture, that enabled these abuses of power to go unchecked for so long?
The Times have launched a new Gender Initiative, headed by Francesca Donner, in an effort to address these barriers. The initiative is dedicated to broad and innovative global coverage of gender-related issues – including sexuality, identity, workplace rights and gender equity.
How can new media tools and techniques enable better reporting on abuses of power? What standards from traditional reporting do we need to hold onto in this extraordinary moment? How can Australian journalists translate these lessons to the local context? In conversation with Sophie Black, Francesca Donner and Matilda Dixon-Smith discuss failure, achievement and ambition in reporting gender today.
Presented with the New York Times.
Sophie Black is Head of Publishing at the Wheeler Centre where she has worked on projects such as the new national writers scheme The Next Chapter, The Messenger podcast (Grand Trophy and two Gold Medals, New York Festivals Radio Awards 2017; UNAA Media Award for Best Radio Documentary; Walkley Award for Radio/Audio Feature; Australian Human Rights Commission Media Award) and the ABC Radio National program Talkfest.
Francesca Donner is director of the newly-launched Gender Initiative at the New York Times. In its first few months, the Gender Initiative has focused – and continues to focus – on the sexual harassment scandals breaking across the world, launching The #MeToo Moment newsletter, in response to the recent waves of news. Francesca is responsible for setting and executing the strategic vision of the Gender Initiative.
Matilda Dixon-Smith is a writer, editor and cultural critic from Melbourne. Her work appears regularly in the Guardian, Fairfax, Crikey, SBS, Vice, ABC Online, Kill Your Darlings, the New Daily and other outlets.