Role of Media

The media plays a vital role in advancing the public’s understanding of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse. RALIANCE works with journalists to provide expert commentary, context, and facts, leading to greater awareness and safer environments.

GUIDANCE FOR MEDIA

When covering sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse, RALIANCE recommends keeping these best practices in mind.

CONTINUE TO REPORT ON THE FULL SPECTRUM OF INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR: Leading news organizations are doing groundbreaking work exposing the full spectrum of abusive behaviors, from sexual misconduct to abuse. Every new story that reveals the scope and shape of this issue moves us one step closer to ending sexual violence in one generation.

CENTER THE VOICES OF SURVIVORS: Survivors are never to blame for sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse. Their stories have power and have reshaped the public dialogue around the issue. Using neutral language that does not place blame or responsibility on victims is needed to accurately portray sexual violence.

REPRESENT DIVERSITY: Include a wide range of people who are assaulted, who commit sexual violence, or who are otherwise affected by sexual violence. For example, think about survivors across the lifespan, survivors of color, male survivors, LGBT survivors, and other underrepresented voices.

DISCUSS PREVENTION: Covering real, identifiable solutions — and those working toward them — helps shift perceptions of this issue and demonstrate that prevention is possible, no matter the scale.

HOW RALIANCE IS MAKING AN IMPACT

HONORING EXEMPLARY JOURNALISM: RALIANCE recognized the importance of sexual violence reporting through the RALLYs awards, which in partnership with the Poynter Institute honored the highest level of journalistic achievement in covering sexual violence. Contest finalists and winners demonstrated effective reporting that conveys the scope of the problem of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse while also identifying solutions and challenging the notion that these acts are inevitable.

UNDERSTANDING THE NEWS LANDSCAPE: RALIANCE joined forces with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Berkeley Media Studies Group to explore the strategic use of mass media to advance policies that improve health. These findings have informed our guidance for changing the conversation about sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse and building new audiences.

HELPING SURVIVORS TELL THEIR STORIES: Letters to the editor and opinion editorials have the ability to change hearts and minds, but there are many stories and voices missing from the news – especially when it comes to prevention. To change this, RALIANCE, in partnership with the Op-ed Project, recruited 20 individuals interested in sharing their story to participate in their Write to Change the World seminar.