World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


CPJ report documents sexual aggression against journalists

CPJ report documents sexual aggression against journalists

New York, June 7, 2011 - Dozens of journalists from all regions of the world are breaking their silence on the sexual aggression they have endured in the course of their work. Their accounts, detailed in a new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), provide the most extensive documentation gathered thus far on how sexual assault threatens press freedom worldwide.

The report, based on interviews with 27 local and 25 international journalists, reveals a broad range of sexual violence against the press that has gone largely undocumented until now. Many of those interviewed said they kept silent due to cultural stigmas, doubts that authorities would take action, and a reluctance to endanger their professional status or reporting assignments.

"From threats and groping to aggressive physical harassment and rape, these acts not only obstruct the work of journalists but are used as retribution," said CPJ Senior Editor Lauren Wolfe, author of the report. "Acknowledging and assessing sexual aggression against journalists is a first step toward formulating solutions and advocating for change. This report is a step in that direction."

CPJ found sexual aggression in reprisal for reporting, mob-related sexual violence while covering events, and sexual abuse of journalists in detention or captivity. These findings, which are being published along with CPJ's new security guidelines concerning sexual aggression, will form the basis for further CPJ research in the coming year.

While most instances of aggression involve women, male journalists have also been targeted, typically in situations of captivity or detention. To help journalists identify and minimize the risk of sexual aggression, CPJ Journalist Security Coordinator Frank Smyth has written an addendum to the organization's existing journalist security guide. The new section provides practical guidance on situational awareness and field techniques.

Download the PDF: (302 KB)

Click here for an audio report


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Pacific: Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva Dies, Aged 78

A constant thorn in the side of the monarchy and nobility, Mr Pohiva's lifelong battle for representation had seen him fired from the public service and charged with sedition... More>>


Untied Kingdom: UK PM Moves To Suspend Parliament In Weeks Before Brexit

The Prime Minister has briefed Cabinet colleagues that the government will bring forward an ambitious new legislative programme for MPs’ approval, and that the current parliamentary session will be brought to an end. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>


Pacific Island Forum: Australia v Everyone Else On Climate Action

Traditionally, communiques capture the consensus reached at the meeting. In this case, the division on display between Australia and the Pacific meant the only commitment is to commission yet another report into what action needs to be taken. More>>


For NZ, It Was May 6: Earth Overshoot Day 2019 Is The Earliest Ever

Humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate. This is akin to using 1.75 Earths... More>>