Division in the Newsroom

By: Breana Albizu

As the editor of Arkansas Business, Gwen Moritz was subject to a combination of harassment and power abuse within the male-dominated world of journalism. Through her experience, she was able to overcome and emerge even stronger as a journalist, but unfortunately, the power divide continues to this day and she offered some advice for how to recognize and report the various degrees of bad behavior that most women encounter in the workplace. 

Moritz began the presentation by noting that wherever there is a situation of people and hierarchy, there is always the potential for abuse. Since that is the structure for most companies within corporate America, it important that a woman identify the tone that is set in the workplace, as this an indicator of what can become.

Moritz ranked the degrees of bad behavior from one (least severe) to five (most severe):

1. Juvenile boorishness

2. Inappropriate, consensual relationships

3. Unwarranted physical contact by people who feel entitled

4. People who use their positions of authority/control to abuse adults

5. People who use their positions of authority/control to abuse children

This breakout session was a great combination of my passion for journalism and the sad realities that are discussed within my Gender and Society class. The reality is, the journalism world is still male-dominated (although the number has declined given women's interest in managerial positions) industry. Also a reality: I am a woman, and unfortunately, my odds of getting abused or harassed are greater than any of my male counterparts. With the persistence of activism regarding women's issues, such as the #MeToo movement, I am glad to know which direction American society is willing to go for acknowledgment and change of these issues.

While it was disturbing to face the reality of Moritz's discussion, it was necessary. In the end, she was fairly confident that women shall overcome: "Nothing succeeds like success. Be the change you want to see."