If male reporters can wear winter hats on air, so can female reporters. It really is that simple.

 

The Association for Women Journalists-Chicago is calling on Executive Producer Dan Salamone at FOX-owned WFLD-Channel 32 to issue a public apology after insisting female reporters to go hatless in their outdoor winter live shots. Media columnist Robert Feder first reported this morning that Salamone has directed the women of “Good Day Chicago” to dress inappropriately for weather conditions “because they look a lot better without hats." In addition for calling for a public apology, the Association for Women Journalists-Chicago also invites Mr. Salamone to hold a constructive dialogue with the Association for Women Journalists-Chicago on how to ensure workplaces are professional, inclusive and respectful towards all.

 

WFLD/Channel 32's General Manager, Dennis Welsh, said there is no WFLD or Fox policy against hats and that Salamone will face disciplinary action, Crain's Chicago Business later reported.

 

Even pending potential internal action, Mr. Salamone must understand that it is wholly unacceptable to treat female journalists differently than their male colleagues, particularly when such treatment potentially compromises safety and health. His exception that hats are allowed “if it’s 20 below,” is short sighted and dangerous; according to data from the National Weather Service/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,  at such temperature, with a wind speed of even 15 mph (classified as a moderate breeze), exposed skin risks dangerous freezing in as little as 10 minutes. The show’s female on-air talent, and all journalists, deserve to work in safe conditions and to be treated as professionals. 

 

The Association for Women Journalists-Chicago supports women in journalism and promotes the respectful treatment of women by the news media. We are a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization.

 

AWJ-Chicago is comprised of working journalists, academics and students from national, local and regional news outlets and all the major journalism schools in the area. It includes women and men involved in every aspect of the business and across all mediums. Learn more at awj-chicago.org.

 

Respectfully,
Association of Women Journalists-Chicago board