Female Journalists Set Up Group To Tackle Sexual Harassment In The Media

The Second Source is aiming to help make the industry a better place for women.

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In the wake of the #MeToo stories exposing abuse, not only in the entertainment industry and the media, but across the political spectrum, you might be left feeling: what now?

Warnings from other women about who to avoid - like the 'sex pest' Whatsapp group detailing certain questionable MPs and politicians - might help you navigate the world a little more safely, but they don't change it. And they certainly don't protect you when something actually happens.

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Which is where The Second Source comes in. Launched by leading female journalists, the alternative professional network aims to tackle – and raise awareness of – sexual harassment in the media industry.

As co-Founder Rosamund Urwin explains: 'This isn't – as some have bizarrely framed it – a 'witch hunt'. What we want is cultural change in our industry – and we hope this call will spread beyond the media to other workplaces too.'

'I realised that unless we act, nothing will change,' she said. 'It will happen to the 23-year-old of tomorrow, as it once happened to me.'

Urwin is among the 20 journalists behind Second Source, said she was inspired to take action after hearing how freelance reporter Emily Reynolds was targeted: 'It was after reading a piece by my fellow journalist Emily Reynolds about sexual harassment she had suffered that I realised that unless we act, nothing will change.'

'It will happen to the 23-year-olds of tomorrow, as it once happened to me and happened to Emily.'

Megha Mohan, a broadcast journalist, added: 'As journalists we're meant to hold people to account, yet there's often an uncomfortable culture of silence when it comes to bullying and harassment in our profession.'

After voicing his concerns about sexual abuse in journalism, mayor of London Sadiq Khan is also behind the new network. 'The harassment some women journalists have faced in the workplace is appalling – and it is the responsibility of all of us to challenge it and call it out. This needs to be a turning point.

'I strongly support the women journalists who have come together to create the Second Source. We must do everything we can to ensure women are able to speak out and have their concerns properly investigated.'

Jo Swinson, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats and Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green party, are also on board, saying it was important to recognise problems in the media industry.

But the group are going much further than simply detailing the harassment. The Second Source will encourage workplaces to consider their own practices and work with organisations who want to adopt a policy or improve their existing one.

Sign up to their free mailing and you'll be sent details ofupcoming events networking events for women and alternative sources of advice and mentorship (so that one-on-one meetings aren't your only option). They will also point you in the direction of resources; legal, counselling and therapy and advice on supporting someone who is dealing with abuse.

Check out the Second Source website here.

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