Undue Hardship: A Scholarly Personal Narrative about Working with Invisible Disability in an Ableist Daily Newsroom CulturePublic Deposited
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I worked as a journalist for twenty-five years with an invisible disability, systemic lupus erythematous, until I left my difficult but successful career after failing to win doctor-recommended accommodations. I share my journey using a Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) format informed by interviews with thirty-seven current and former journalists with disabilities, as well as twenty-one union officials, newsroom managers, and media executives. Using my experiences at three daily news organizations as the through line, I uncover previously untold stories from other journalists with invisible disabilities to explore the prevailing fear of disclosure within a macho, competitive news culture; workarounds and side deals that erase disability as a workplace issue; the habitual denial of accommodations; and how those exiled from daily news organizations write about their stories — as I have — outside the mainstream. This SPN has implications for both journalism education, the journalism profession, and critical disability studies.
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