KIRO Reporter Worries About Social Media’s Effect on Women Journalists

By Kevin Eck 

During a recent live shot about a story on sexual assault allegations, KIRO reporter Amy Clancy said she was bothered by the fact a number of social media comments focused on her new haircut and not on the story.

In a piece about it on the station’s website, Clancy expressed her concern that people think it’s OK to express opinions they’d never say to someone’s face and that all the anonymous criticism will have a negative effect on women in the industry.

Clancy said she’s “been shot at, assaulted verbally and physically, and threatened with violence many times while doing my job.”

“So, why am I even bothering to share my feelings about trolls and their comments?” she wrote. “What concerns me is what I believe similar comments are doing to women in the news industry. A singular focus on our looks feels degrading to the work we do. Comments about our hair, our wrinkles, our faces, our makeup seem to diminish all that my generation of “older” female journalists did to be taken seriously and measured by our worth not by our looks.”

She said she worries younger journalists will try to change something about themselves based on opinions of people they’ve never met. She’s also worried they’ll “hyper sexualize” their brands.

“I believe our credibility should be more important than our desirability,” said Clancy. “Whatever my hair looks like, I’m still the same reporter I’ve always been.”