Group of influential French male journalists harassed and threatened female colleagues 

French media is in turmoil as it comes face to face with some ugly truths about systemic harassment.

Gea Alessi
Gea Alessi NewsMavens, Europe
Group of influential French male journalists harassed and threatened female colleagues  - NewsMavens
Woman with phone, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

It all started with a Facebook group, called Ligue du LOL (League of LOL), made up of about 30 male journalists. They used fake accounts on Facebook and Twitter to spread obscene Photoshopped images of their victims, as well as racist comments and rape-threats.   

Florence Desruol, a freelance consultant, was one of those targeted by the group. She tried several times to report the abuse, but neither the senior editors she contacted, nor the police, were helpful.  

Although the League du LOL has been exposed, this story is just the tip of the iceberg. Aude Lorriaux, a spokeswoman for the female journalists’ group Prenons La Une, stated:

“This is bigger than just the League of LOL -- all newsrooms are affected. It’s massive, it’s year zero. We must deconstruct hundreds of years built on inequality.”

Details from the story:

  • The abuses took place between 2009 and 2013, and were directed not only at women, but also to writers who belonged to minorities.
  • Vincent Glad, the founder of the group, and eight other prominent journalists have been suspended from their positions.
  • Many of the men involved released public apologies, although they implied that the harassment was just banter.
  • Victims affirm that the abuse did not take place just online, but in real life, too, as some of the group's members showed up at their workplace.
  • Editors claim they did not know about what was going on, but several journalists affirm that the group’s actions were well-known.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
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