Online harm and harassment is one of the most significant safety issues facing women journalists today, and is on the rise globally, according to a 2021 report by the International Center for Journalists. Digital attacks aimed predominantly at women and racialized journalists are intended to belittle, discredit, humiliate and, ultimately, undermine trust in facts and jeopardize press freedom.
In Canada, several journalists – nearly all racialized women – were recently targeted by an escalating hate campaign through encrypted email services, threatening ‘real-world’ sexual violence and harm.
As part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the Canadian Journalism Foundation, in collaboration with the #NotOk campaign and the Canadian Women’s Foundation, welcomed three journalists to share their insights on online violence against women journalists in Canada, the challenges they face and perspectives on solutions and supporting others in the industry.
The virtual discussion took place on November 30 and featured journalist, broadcaster and co-founder of Media Girlfriends, Garvia Bailey; freelance journalist Christina Frangou; and Toronto Star producer and co-host of This Matters podcast, Saba Eitizaz. CBC News correspondent Salimah Shivji moderated this discussion.