By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

How I’ve tried to help my journalism students protect themselves from harassment

Photo via Pikist

One of the most vexing, and even dangerous, issues facing journalists these days is harassment, both online and in real life. Among the best-known examples is New Hampshire Public Radio, whose reporter Lauren Chooljian, along with her editor, Dan Barrick, and her parents were the targets of vandalism to their homes, apparently in retaliation for Chooljian’s reporting. Four New Hampshire men have been indicted by federal authorities and face long prison terms and heavy fines if they are convicted.

Harassment has been emerging as an issue in journalism education as well. I’ve been trying to find ways of dealing with it in my undergraduate and graduate ethics classes. A year ago, I devoted just part of one 100-minute class to the subject. Now I set aside a week — two full classes.

Because I know other journalism instructors are dealing with this, I thought I’d lay out how we handled it in my class just recently. This is ever-evolving, of course, so please consider this one instructor’s attempt to wrestle with a difficult issue.

Read the rest at Poynter Online.

Leave a comment | Read comments

Discover more from Media Nation

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.


One year later, calculating the damage Elon Musk has done to Twitter


Two daily newspapers in Rhode Island will merge


  1. Hi Dan, I just read the Poynter piece. I’m soooo glad that, as in other matters, you are taking a leadership role on this concern. One suggestion, if you haven’t made this connection before, is to include the general frame of workplace violence & safety, to help validate safeguarding journalists from threats and actions that are sadly becoming a more prominent part of their jobs. This helps to raise distinctions between inherent risks facing journalists (i.e., being at scenes where violent or dangerous activities are occurring, or, in the more extreme, war zones) vs. targeted harassment & retaliation for doing their jobs. I’m happy to toss these ideas around if it would be helpful. Best, David Yamada

    • Dan Kennedy

      David, this is a great idea. This is evolving, so it’s something to keep in mind for next semester.

  2. Bobby

    A real scary thing. But it’s a bigger problem than just journalists because everyone who posts receives threats, tho journalists are more easily found. So how do we solve the problem? Private security for all? Maybe a new business opportunity. Don’t mean to be flip, but it’s a serious issue that no one seems to be addressing, and it affects the future of democracy.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén