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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Active racism and the 'invisible workload' : the experiences of racialized female journalists in Canadian media Zoledziowski, Anya Krystyna


Previous studies have found that female visible minority journalists experience various forms of sexism and racism in Canadian newsrooms. This thesis combines Journalism Studies and Critical Race Theory (CRT) in order to build on previous research and examine the experiences of racialized female journalists working in urban Canadian mainstream newsrooms. Through seven semi-structured interviews, five main themes emerged, many of which reiterate previous findings: (1) The racialized female reporters challenge dominant positivist norms in journalism, like objectivity; (2) These reporters have had to tailor their news stories in ways that appeal to white, usually male, editors; (3) Many of the women have experienced racism in the form of microaggressions and tokenization in newsrooms; (4) The interviewees have spent significant time educating their white colleagues on the nuances of race issues; and (5) The subjects value mentorship and “informal networks of support” in order to help other women and people of colour succeed in journalism. In contrast to previous findings, the subjects voiced an emboldened attitude towards challenging racial hierarchies in journalism spheres. Additionally, all interviewees voiced their desire to see enhanced representation of women of colour and Indigenous women in Canadian media. Particular attention is paid to how sexism and racism operate simultaneously in the lives of these reporters.

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