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September 15, 2022updated 07 Oct 2022 7:16am

Future of Media Explained podcast 14: Online abuse and what to do about it

By Charlotte Tobitt

Online abuse towards journalists has become an endemic problem since the rise of social media.

A Unesco survey last year found 73% of female journalists worldwide had experienced hostility online and said this had a “chilling” effect – but all demographics are affected.

Last year Reach created an industry-first role, an online safety editor, and appointed Rebecca Whittington to lead efforts internally and externally to tackle the problem.

[Read more: ‘This isn’t an acceptable part of the job’: How journalists and publishers can tackle online abuse with Reach online safety editor]

Her job involves both supporting staff who are affected and liaising with the likes of social media platforms and the Government to call for wider action against abuse.

Whittington joined Press Gazette UK editor Charlotte Tobitt to reveal how the first nine months of the job have gone, what she has been able to put into action so far, and why she is a “critical friend” of Meta and Twitter.

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