Using Sensemaking to Examine One Female Television Journalist’s Experiences with Using Social Media Platforms


May 2023

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Using the lens of sensemaking and the theory of parasocial relationships, this autoethnography examines the social media harassment faced by one female television broadcast journalist who has worked in local television news for more than 15 years. Female journalists are harassed more often and face higher rates of violence on and offline than their male colleagues (Chen et al., 2020). These hazards make their critical work more difficult and dangerous. When leaving the news industry appears to be the only way for female journalists to protect themselves, society risks a nocuous void of voice. Many female journalists are failed by their employers’ social media policies which protect the news organization rather than the employee. Based on previous literature and the lived experience of the author, broadcast journalists are more likely to be protected by news directors who acknowledge and mitigate female journalists’ unique risks and prepare a safety plan to utilize when a threat arises.



Mass Communications


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