A panel of journalists came together in Gerrard Hall on Tuesday night to reflect on the unmasking of sexual misconduct in Hollywood and the media, which has amplified in recent years.
“Holding Power Accountable: Reporting on Sexual Misconduct,” an event held by the UNC School of Media and Journalism, was comprised of three invited journalists and UNC associate professor Barbara Friedman.
The panel discussion focused on the role of journalism in today's world where workplace culture is being reevaluated to give more power to victims. As sexual misconduct coverage changes, reporters are now able to find accusers that will go on the record, who previously might have been silenced due to fear or concerns over job security.
The three invited guests have all been intimately involved with the recent emergence of celebrity sexual misconduct into the national spotlight. Emily Steel, New York Times journalist and 2006 UNC and Daily Tar Heel graduate, broke the Bill O'Reilly sexual harassment story. Kim Masters, editor-at-large of the Hollywood Reporter, worked on the Harvey Weinstein story. NPR correspondent David Folkenflik has even investigated allegations into men within NPR.
Folkenflik said the narrative currently at play in the media, encapsulated by the #MeToo movement, started with the Bill Cosby allegations, which empowered other victims by proving that coming forward and telling their stories could lead to action and awareness.