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From left to right: journalists Barkha Dutt, Maria Ressa, Carole Cadwalladr and Kara Swisher at the 2019 Women in the World Summit.
From left to right: journalists Barkha Dutt, Maria Ressa, Carole Cadwalladr and Kara Swisher at the 2019 Women in the World Summit.

#HerStory

Twitter announces new video series featuring work from top women journalists worldwide

By Kyle Jones on May 3, 2019

Twitter is partnering with women journalists from around the world for a new monthly video series about the work of women in the news industry.

Twitter News announced the new project, called #HerStory, on Thursday to coincide with World Press Freedom Day, writing that “women journalists are essential to the storytelling landscape, and far too often face obstacles while doing their jobs that their male counterparts do not.” The social media platform said it planned “to highlight this gender inequality as often as possible.”

“Informing the world and holding the powerful to account is too important to be silenced or hindered,” wrote Twitter News. “We know Twitter plays an important role in this public discourse, and we have work to do to make it a healthier discourse. This is our top priority.”

The first episode of the new web series includes interviews from top journalists from across the world, including Philippine journalist and executive editor of Rappler, Maria Ressa, New York Times correspondent Rukmini Callimachi, Buzzfeed News reporter Sylvia Obell, WNYC host Tanzina Vega and ABC Nightline co-anchor Juju Chang.

“Press freedoms are under assault and more precious than ever,” said Chang in a sneak peek of the upcoming first episode. “And yet if you look at the global landscape, it’s far darker even than it is here in the United States.”

“Now more than ever, journalism has moved closer to activism,” said Ressa. “As we come under attack, the shackles come off — and I know this first hand. When you get arrested, you fight for your rights.”

The rise of Twitter as a place for reporters and sources to share and discuss the latest breaking news in real time has had some unfortunate side effects. Many of the women-specific “obstacles” tacitly referred to by the Twitter News team, for instance, are the result of Twitter’s own failure to curtail the rampant sexist abuse faced by women — journalists or otherwise — who use the social media site. An analysis of the Twitter accounts of 778 female politicians and journalists by Amnesty International found that their accounts received 1.1 million abusive tweets over the course of a year — on average, an abusive tweet every 30 seconds.

Watch a video preview of #HerStory below.

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