What a Kiss Says About the State of Harassment Media Coverage

Photo courtesy of DIALOG

The CBC is in the news again for workplace harassment incident - this time however, it’s not at the hands of another CBC employee.

There’s no doubt that reporter Megan Batchelor was the victim of a disturbing action. Imagine trying to do your job in front of hundreds of thousands of people, then receiving a sudden, unwanted kiss from an unknown man.

And of course this isn’t the first such incident in 2015; a female CityNews reporter in Toronto was accosted with a misogynistic slur live on air.

But with no disrespect to Ms. Batchelor, what’s most troubling about the incident is the disparity of media coverage between the kiss, and continually-surfacing signals of very serious behind the scenes bullying and harassment committed by CBC hosts.

Of course, the warning signs of serious internal abuses are barely reported on, and never followed-up or investigated.

If continuing internal abuse is even half as significant as Ghomeshi’s, then we’re potentially looking at much more damaging harassment than an unwanted kiss on the cheek.

On air incidents don’t warrant any more coverage than internal abuses. The fact that such a vast disparity exists indicates a laziness on the part of Canada’s media, choosing to dwell on whatever happens to be captured on video instead of investigating potentially much more serious abuses.

A willingness to abrogate the journalistic duty to investigate should be a cause of concern to all Canadians.