Intimidating or ugly
When perpetrators were members of the government or officials, reported incidents typically included threats of imprisonment or detention, blackmail and public defamation.
One Mexican journalist said that a prison director attempted to discredit her, telling other reporters that she paid inmates at his prison for information about drug sales.
Some respondents said they were forced by state officials to sign pledges promising not to write critically about the government.
Other acts of “intimidation, threats and abuse” by public officials include surveillance of journalists, written and verbal intimidation and withdrawal of press passes or accreditation.
I also felt that it would be career suicide to bring something like this against this guy.” When respondents did report acts of “intimidation, threats and abuse,” results ranged from nothing changing to being forced out of a job.
Some said they regretted reporting abuse, as negative responses from supervisors, colleagues and authorities made the situation worse.
The same woman said she had been “shouted at and intimidated a number of times by male reporters from different media outlets” in the course of her work.
An American journalist working in the Middle East recalled entering an Orthodox Jewish community to report and being told to leave or face stoning.
The HR department ruled against me based on incorrect factual information, and I appealed the decision.
For all acts defined in this section, the main perpetrators were male (63.6%/1029 of 1617 reported incidents where perpetrator’s sex was cited).
Reporting Intimidation, Threats and Abuse Respondents were asked if they reported any acts of “intimidation, threats and abuse” to their employers, police or another authority (selecting multiple options was possible).
A respondent from India said “general discrimination is a major problem,” but especially for her, as a manager.
“No one likes [a] female boss,” she said, “especially in the media field.” Dozens of respondents from several different regions said their supervisors or co-workers had used public criticism of their work, personality or general competence as a humiliation and intimidation tactic.