Press Releases

Jun 06, 2018

Media Industry Leaders to Participate in Training to Combat Workplace Misconduct

“Workplace Integrity: Train the Trainers” curriculum provides tools to help teams improve their cultures

WASHINGTON — The Freedom Forum Institute’s Power Shift Project is launching one-of-a-kind interactive training for media organizations to advance the goal of workplaces free of harassment and discrimination.

Workplace Integrity: Train the Trainers,” a unique training curriculum custom-tailored for media organizations, was developed by Freedom Forum Institute Fellow Jill Geisler of Loyola University Chicago, who conducts leadership training and coaching in newsrooms around the world. Geisler facilitated the Newseum’s groundbreaking Power Shift Summit earlier this year and will lead the first “Workplace Integrity” workshop June 26 and 27 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The Institute is the education and outreach partner of the Newseum, and both are principally funded by the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation that champions the five freedoms of the First Amendment.

“We know that traditional anti-harassment training was ineffective in stopping the misconduct that has rocked the media industry,” said Geisler. “Our Workplace Integrity curriculum is not about lectures, warnings and compliance, but a way to carefully set the table for people to think, talk and learn together, to put a stake in the ground for respect and decency, and chart their own path to culture change.”

The Power Shift Project defines workplace integrity as environments free of harassment, discrimination and incivility and filled with opportunity, especially for those who have traditionally been denied it. Its advisory board is made up of women and men who are leaders in media companies, educational institutions and journalism associations.

Participants in the first “Workplace Integrity” workshop are a diverse group of stakeholders representing the human resources and training functions of major media organizations, as well as leaders of journalism education and advocacy groups. They will be trained to deliver the curriculum in their own organizations. Attendance at the first two-day workshop is limited to those who have been chosen as the vanguard group of trainers. Additional training events will be announced in the coming months.

The workshops will include expert briefings from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the National Women’s Law Center about laws against sex discrimination in the workplace.

The “Workplace Integrity” curriculum is built around three pillars:

    • Critical Thinking (how to analyze facts, context, bias, assumptions and logic in common workplace exchanges related to harassment, discrimination and incivility)
    • Courageous Conversations (how to speak proactively and reactively to ensure workplace integrity)
    • Cultures of Respect and Trust (how to assess and improve your workplace culture)


About the Freedom Forum Institute

The Freedom Forum Institute is the education and outreach partner of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum. The Institute includes the First Amendment Center, the Religious Freedom Center, the Newseum’s education department and diversity and inclusion programs. The Freedom Forum Institute’s affiliate organizations include the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota; the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi; and the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University. The Freedom Forum Institute is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including its principal funder, the Freedom Forum.


The Power Shift Project provides training, education and resources for a variety of audiences, while raising public awareness and support for building newsroom leadership and workplace cultures that support diversity, inclusion and equality.

The Project was launched in January 2018 with the Power Shift Summit, where more than 130 newsroom leaders, editors, reporters, educators and advocates convened to discuss solutions to end harassment and promote opportunity for all.

A report based on the summit identified seven key Power Shift Principles about workplace imbalances that protect the powerful and intimidate and silence others, especially interns and young employees. The report also found that sexual misconduct and workplace discrimination are inextricably linked; workplace incivility and bullying are gateways to harassment; and change must be remedied through strong harassment reporting and training systems combined with leadership, supported by both women and men at all levels of an organization.

The Power Shift Project also convened the first in a series of live interactive training sessions on sexual harassment and discrimination earlier this year with “Power to the Interns: Strengthening Intern Preparation in a #MeToo World.” The archived session contains practical information about what educators and employers should know and do to ensure workplace integrity for the youngest and often most vulnerable people in the workplace.

Press Contacts

Sonya Gavankar
[email protected]