AJAs 2016 Finalists


Slug/Label Hate, Misogyny, Sexism
Date Aired or Published August 22, 2016
Media outlet where first aired or published: The Telegram
Name of Program: Tara Bradbury
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: St. John's
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

I don't usually write editorials. This column was borne out of frustration and anger and a desire for public awareness, and its publication ended up as one of the most important points in my career so far. A few days prior, I had written a simple advancer on FemFest, a local feminist festival. There wasn't anything controversial about it, I thought — it was the same as any other story giving advance notice of an event. I quickly learned the difference, when hate mail and social media messages from anti-feminists began appearing in my inboxes. It was a tipping point for me as a female journalist, perhaps encouraged to that edge by the American presidential campaign. I wrote this commentary knowing I was going to make the online comments worse, but the opportunity to start a local discussion on the issue of harassment of women was one I couldn't miss. I felt putting a personal voice on it might give the message some power. The hatemail got worse; way, way worse. The column was picked up nationally and ran in Chatelaine magazine. The Canadian Press did a story about it that ran in the Globe and Mail and the National Post, among other outlets. I was tormented for weeks, receiving messages that attacked everything from my intelligence to my appearance to my dedication to my family. An "alt-right" website from the U.S. got hold of the article and wrote about it, publishing my picture and Twitter address. "Give up this feminist bullishit," some of the more tame messages said. "You have bad ideas. Stop writing. You'd have better luck doing dishes and laundry. Go home and take care of your babies where you belong." It was discouraging, disheartening and depressing, but there were silver linings: amongst the misogyny and insults, a received e-mails and letters from women thanking me for speaking up and telling me they felt inspired to attend FemFest. I received dozens and dozens more from men, apologizing for others of their gender and wanting to make it clear that they didn't share the misogynistic views. I have no regrets!

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

No extra resources were required for this commentary.

Return to list of finalists