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Women Journalists Are Rising To The Occasion In The Trump Era

(Source: forbes.com)

President Donald Trump shows hostility towards any person or news organization that paints an unfavorable picture of him, including women. Despite insults, they press on.  The latest examples of mistreatment include three female White House correspondents. Last week, Trump called American Urban Radio Networks’ April Ryan a “loser” and told her to sit down, commented that CNN’s Abby Phillip’s question was “stupid” and accused PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor of asking a “racist question.”

The president has mocked ABC News’s Cecilia Vega’s intelligence, called CBS News Weijia Jiang “obnoxious” and ignored a question from a female reporter for the U.K.’s Sky News. The White House retaliated against CNN’s Kaitlin Collins, banning her from a Rose Garden event after she asked a question the administration thought was “inappropriate.”

Inexcusably, women continue to be derided in the workplace. The visibility of women journalists in the Trump era provides others the opportunity to see how to push through hostility. Here’s how these female reporters continue to do their job and how you can, too:

1. Stay standing, and ask the hard questions.

These women journalists are asking tough questions of the president. People want Trump to comment on voter suppression, white nationalism, the appointment of the acting attorney general, then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen. Not wanting to discuss these potential embarrassing issues, the president was hostile towards the female reporters.

Jobs that seek the truth and accountability are difficult. It is a journalist’s job to obtain and distribute information. It is their job to ask questions, and people are noticing.

Remember your mission, and carry out your role. Your role in life isn’t always going to be easy. Some are going to see you as the “good guy,” and others are going to see you as the “bad guy.” Don’t play to an audience. If you play to an audience, you undermine your credibility and authority. Focus on the job at hand, and demonstrate your leadership. People will take notice.

2. Recognize and reflect on the situation.

Female reporters are talking about how they are being treated at White House press conferences and gaggles. April Ryan recounts the incident on ABC’s The View and wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post calling out the president’s “verbal attacks on women of color.” Kaitlin Collins spoke on-air about being banned. In discussing their stories, people are learning more about these women journalists and becoming familiar with their work.

You will encounter mistreatment in your career. Don’t feel like you have to keep it to yourself. Talk to people about what you have been through. Tell your story. Share your experience.

3. Support each other.

Reporters are supporting each other and their work and amplifying the profiles of women journalists. On Twitter, PBS Anchor Judy Woodruff and Washington Post White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker defended Yamiche Alcindor. Rucker said she “asked a fair and important question about whether Trump’s embrace of the ‘nationalist’ label is an embrace of ‘white nationalism.’” Woodruff highlighted Alcindor’s professionalism and fairness. Many other journalists have spoken out in support of women reporters.

News organizations are also supporting their employees. CNN came out with a statement defending Abby Philip, saying that her question about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe after the appointment of an acting attorney general was “the most pertinent question of the day” and not a “stupid question.”

Journalists and news outlets are protecting the principles of journalism. Protect your mission, and recognize the importance of each other’s work. Support each other through challenges, and claim your role.

April Ryan. Yamiche Alcindor. Abby Phillips. Weijia Jiang. Cecilia Vega. Kaitlin Collins. Until recently, you may not have known the names of these female journalists. Now you know their names and their power. Don’t let mistreatment undermine your power. Persist, reflect and support each other. Press on.

How do you rise to the occasion in challenging times? Share with me your stories and thoughts via Twitter or LinkedIn.

More Info: forbes.com

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