NUJ to publish guidance on violence against women journalists

Union ‘cannot afford to lose’ any of the equality gains it has made, conference hears

At what was the first National Union of Journalists women's conference in Ireland for as long as anyone could remember, NUJ equality officer Lena Calvert outlined the union's position on gender-based online abuse.

“Our union policy is zero tolerance on the issue,” she told the assembly of women journalists in the Teachers’ Club in Dublin on Saturday.

A section on dealing with online threats will be included in the NUJ’s new guidance on how to deal with all aspects of violence directed against women journalists, which it will launch on November 25th (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women).

Media-sector employers need to put in place measures including online comment moderation procedures that reflect their responsibility for the health and safety of employees and freelance contributors, according to Calvert.


Threats of violence against women journalists such as the recent repeated trolling of Caroline Criado- Perez – “ultimately designed to prevent women’s voices being heard” – were last month condemned by the NUJ.

'Age-old problems'
A charter on media ageism and sexism will also be published next week by a coalition of UK-based groups, including the NUJ, to focus attention on how older people, particularly older women, are portrayed in the media.

As for the “age-old problems” of bullying, pay discrimination and lack of representation at decision-making levels, Calvert was unequivocal: “We cannot afford to lose any of the gains we have made in the last decade.”

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics