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"Just a Litte Bit of Cheeky Ribaldry"?: Newsroom discourses of sexually harassing behaviour

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North, LC (2007) "Just a Litte Bit of Cheeky Ribaldry"?: Newsroom discourses of sexually harassing behaviour. Feminist Media Studies, 7 (1). pp. 81-96. ISSN 1468-0777

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Abstract

This paper is concerned with how Australian print news media journalists, male and female,
remember, talk about, experience, acknowledge, condemn, and/or deny sexually harassing
behaviour in the newsroom. A total of seventeen in-depth, semi-structured interviews were
conducted with eight male and nine female journalists in late 2003 and early 2004. The
interviewees ranged in age from 19 to 56 and differed in levels of industry experience. The
interviews were not set up to specifically discuss sexually harassing behaviour in the newsroom;
however it was a theme that arose in seven of the interviews about newsroom culture, my broader
PhD project. The female interviewees make clear their encounters are constant reminders of how
their bodies do not “fit” and/or where and how they do fit in this occupation. This is the case, even
though some women do not use the term “sexual harassment” to describe the behaviour that
clearly constitutes it under Australian government legislation. The two male journalists interviewed
who mentioned harassment talk about it in defence of accepted office behaviour, or in passing
about procedural business policy. The use of the term “sexual harassment,” or lack of its use, also
tells us about the place of feminism and/or feminist inspired government legislation in journalism’s
occupational culture.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Feminist Media Studies
Page Range: pp. 81-96
ISSN: 1468-0777
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1080/14680770601103738
Additional Information:

published by Taylor & Francis

Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2008 23:26
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:29
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