#MediaAndMeToo: How NOT To Cover Sexual Harassment

In this webinar with Akina Mama wa Afrika, I speak n the trivialisation of sexual harassment and perpetuation of rape culture

Sexual harassment seems to be the only crime where the VICTIMS become the ACCUSED. Automatically accused of lying, inciting, provoking, seducing… The list goes on. And our job as reporters is to protect victims from a MEDIA TRIAL.

The way that we report sexual harassment has put to much on victims and not enough on perpetrators. And the media, the one “unbiased” conduit of information to the people, has become a driver of victim shaming.

But it’s high time we transfer the shame from the victims to the perpetrators.

In the way that we write, cover and report stories of sexual harassment, the words that we use and the sentences that we frame; we either add or take away from rape culture.

    • We do not report sexual harassment by stripping the victims of their dignity.
    • We do not expose their vulnerabilities to the world.
    • We do not dehumanize them.
    • We do not shame them with our words and open ended questions.
    • We do not distract from the story with irrelevant information.
    • We do not make them a target for bullying.
    • We do not make them the focus of the story. We reserve that for abuse and abusers.

And if we must make them the focus of any story, it’d be a story if survival.