Journalists Band Together to Stop Sexual Harassment and ‘Create Respectful Newsroom Environments’

“Our goal is to create a safe and fair working environment for women and men, where we can all do our best work,” Press Forward organization says in a statement

A group of reporters who have endured sexual harassment and assault are banding together to improve the workplace culture in newsrooms by launching an organization called “Press Forward.”

“As multiple accusations about Mark Halperin, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer and other powerful journalists have surfaced, the founders of Press Forward have come together to find solutions to prevent harassment and assault, protect journalists and create respectful newsroom environments,” the organization said in a press release Thursday.

The organization, a component fund within the Greater Washington Community Foundation, will formally launch in 2018, and will analyze, study and report on best practices and drive the conversation on creating a healthier work environment. The goal is to publish a “blueprint” that will provide guidance to local and national media organizations.

“Press Forward” will also “educate journalists about their rights and responsibilities” when it comes to harassment.

“Our goal is to create a safe and fair working environment for women and men, where we can all do our best work. This is for all of us – our colleagues in the news business, the future journalists to come and, foremost, the readers and viewers we serve,” co-founder of Press Forward and the CEO of News Deeply Lara Setrakian said.

Co-founder Dianna Pierce Burgess added: “This is for our daughters — so they can enter their careers with the level playing field we thought we had when we went to work. The movements #MeToo and #SilenceBreakers are a call to change the status quo.”