In honour of World Press Freedom Day on 3rd May, Twitter is spotlighting female voices in journalism around the world with the launch of a new monthly original video series, #HerStory.
Starting with Maria Ressa from Rappler, Rukmini Callimachi from The New York Times, and Sylvia Obell from BuzzFeed News, #HerStory will shine a light on the careers and personal lives of women leaders in journalism, and delve into the stories they report on — from Callimachi's Islamic State coverage to Obell's entertainment news beat. At a time when the integrity of journalism is more crucial than ever, with a digital landscape that enables the proliferation of fake news and overnight virality, Twitter says it's launching this initiative in part because it recognises the role it plays in guiding public discourse. This is one of the steps it's taking to ensure this discourse is healthier and more inclusive, starting with this original video series.
"Women literally put their lives on the line in the name of truth, and that's precisely why most journalists have become journalists, to speak truth to power and to give voice to the voiceless," says ABC News anchor Juju Chang, one of #HerStory's featured women, in the below video.
As a platform that has publicly struggled to strike a balance between upholding free speech and removing hate speech, especially as it relates to white supremacy and harassment against women, many have argued that Twitter has a responsibility to guide the conversation towards diverse viewpoints and spotlight the women journalists pursuing and amplifying truth around the world.
"Women journalists are essential to the storytelling landscape, and far too often face obstacles while doing their jobs that their male counterparts do not," said Niketa Patel, a senior manager on Twitter’s News team. "We need to highlight this gender inequality as often as possible, but especially on World Press Freedom Day, when so many are celebrating journalism and the indispensable work that reporters do for society."