‘Abuse is endemic’: Reach appoints first online safety editor

‘Abuse is endemic’: Reach appoints first online safety editor

Reach, the Daily Mirror and Daily Express publisher, has appointed a journalist and academic as its first online safety editor.

Dr Rebecca Whittington will start in the position on 15 November and is tasked with supporting Reach employees through online abuse incidents and lead conversations with social media platforms.

Dr Whittington previously worked in different roles for regional newspapers, including as head of news for Yorkshire Post newspapers, before becoming an academic at Leeds Trinity University.

Her PhD thesis examined how digital platforms impact news production and journalistic identity at local newspapers in the UK.

Reach announced recruiting for the newly-created role earlier in the Summer after an internal survey of employees, billing it as the first role of its kind in the industry.

Dr Rebecca Whittington said: “Online abuse is an endemic issue which has increased significantly over the past decade.

“Journalists are vilified online on a daily basis simply for doing their jobs, with types of abuse ranging from personal attacks to hate crimes. Not only does this cause harm to the victims of abuse, but it also causes harm to the audience witnessing it.

“It is time these issues were addressed and by leading the way and creating the position of online safety editor, Reach is taking an important step in doing just that.”


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