Undue Hardship: A Scholarly Personal Narrative about Working with Invisible Disability in an Ableist Daily Newsroom Culture

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Resource Type
  • 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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  • Copyright © 2022 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2022


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