Proclivity of sexual harassment and blame attribution in journalism: experiential narratives of ghanaian female journalists

Kodwo Jonas Anson Boateng, Epp Lauk


Though the proclivity of sexual-related harassment in African journalism is high, the rates of reporting of these incidences and empirical studies are low. The study employs a gendered approach for an exploratory inquiry into the lived experiences and impressions of Ghanaian female journalists about sexual harassment. The study examines how female journalists experience both newsroom harassments and on-assignment sexual harassment, including the role they play in quid pro quo exchanges, which are relevant aspects of sexual harassment in the profession. The study also examines blame attribution strategies female journalists adopt in assigning blame for sexual harassment occurrences. The study uses a respondent-assisted sampling technique to select and conduct in-depth-interviews with twenty-three female journalists drawn from a cross-section of Ghana's journalism industry. Findings show that most Ghanaian female journalists have encountered sexual harassment from influential men either in the newsroom or on assignment. They also engage in quid pro quo exchanges with influential news related persons either for financial or job-related rewards. Consequently, older female journalists adopt other women blame attributions in assigning blame for incidences of sexual harassment in journalism practice in Ghana.


Ghana, on-assignment sexual harassment, other-women blame attribution, self-blame attribution, sexual harassment, quid-pro-quo

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