“The newsroom, a “gender neutral” and “non sexual” workspace?”

Representations and discourses of media managers on women journalists 

This paper, rooted in a research project on women journalists in the Belgian Francophone media, proposes to analyse, on the basis of a corpus of interviews, the representations and discourse of media managers on the issue of gender and sexuality within their  newsrooms. The results of this research highlight the presence and effects of sexuality within these spaces. By presenting the newsroom as a gender-neutral and non-sexual working space, media managers distance themselves from the issue of gender divisions and inequalities, whether in recruitment processes, career development or daily professional activities. They also minimise inappropriate behaviour and symbolic violence (ordinary sexism and harassment), in contrast to the multiple testimonies of both women and men journalists. Both gender and sexuality appear here as unthinkable.

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