By Charlotte Tobitt, PressGazette, Sept. 15, 2022

The UK media industry’s first dedicated online safety editor is trying to help journalists move away from the idea that abuse is “something you should have to put up with”.

Rebecca Whittington, who took on the role at Reach last year, also told Press Gazette’s Future of Media Explained podcast why she has become a “critical friend” to social media platforms like Meta and Twitter and why she believes collaboration between publishers will make them a more “robust force” against the blight of attacks against journalists.

Whittington (pictured) joined Reach from Leeds Trinity University where she was a journalism course leader and lecturer, work which she said gave her the training, pastoral care and research skills needed for her new job. She has also worked in regional journalism herself, including at the Yorkshire Post.

Her first nine months in the role have been “really busy”, she said, including feedback sessions at different Reach brands across the different regions of the UK to determine how they experience online abuse in often quite varied ways.

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