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Article

Reporters experience multiple challenges when reporting on abortion

“The stakes are so high”: Journalists reporting on abortion,” published in Contraception, sought to learn about the experiences of journalists who cover abortion. The study, a collaboration between ANSIRH and The Sea Change Program, found that reporters experience multiple challenges when reporting on abortion, including struggling to maintain neutrality, finding new angles, connecting with new sources, facing harassment, and needing to educate editors on abortion.

Abortion stigma and political polarization make it difficult for reporters to write about abortion and may deter some reporters from even covering it. Eighty percent of the reporters in this study were subjected to some form of harassment, ranging from angry social media comments to death threats, for writing about abortion.

Within the newsroom, reporters who cover abortion faced several challenges from editors. Some had to educate editors on abortion as a medical procedure or a public health issues, as well as a political issue, something that wasn’t necessary for other health-related articles. Editors were also concerned about generating new story angles, putting pressure on reporters to find unique sources.

To learn more about the study, access the article here.

Download the accompanying infographic here.

Request a pdf.

Banner photo: © Aura Orozco-Fuentes

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ANSIRH is a program within the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and is a part of UCSF's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences.

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