Open Society Foundations Stand with Survivors of Sexual Harassment in Journalism
We were disappointed to learn that the Guatemalan media outlet Nómada has falsely accused Open Society of interference in editorial policy. Their accusation followed our decision to decline a request from Nómada for new funding after the organization failed to adequately address serious allegations of sexual harassment.
In fact, we believe that free expression and independent media are fundamental to democratic societies and transparent governments. For more than a decade, Open Society has supported journalism in Central America with full respect for editorial integrity and independence.
Our grantees can count on us to continue providing robust support for both independent journalism and efforts to address sexual harassment in Latin America. This includes taking steps to improve our own culture and practice when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and encouraging our grantees to do the same.
When the allegations against Nómada first emerged in November, we urged them to swiftly investigate. Eight months later, we concluded that Nómada had not addressed these issues in accordance with our institutional expectations for grantees, and we informed them we would not provide additional financial support.
All the media we support enjoy complete autonomy to define their editorial lines and content. Urging a media organization to investigate and address allegations of sexual harassment against its staff is not editorial interference. Latin America is one of the most dangerous regions in the world for women, with 50 percent of women saying they have been victims of at least one sexual assault.