High levels of bullying have been reported by local newspaper journalists in a survey of 4,000 workers published today.
The National Union of Journalists carried out the survey covering the media, arts and entertainments industries earlier this year.
All those who responded from local newspapers claimed to have been bullied, harassed or discriminated against.
It also revealed that some women journalists had been offered promotion in return for having sex with their boss.
The questionnaire was carried out to look into the problem of bullying within the creative industries by the members of the Federation of Entertainment Unions, which includes the NUJ.
A report put together from the results found the media, arts and entertainment sectors were “hotspots” of bullying and that the there were “exceptionally high” levels reported in the newspaper sector.
Around 4pc of the respondents – approximately 160 – worked in newspapers and around half of these are thought to come from the regional press, although the union has declined to give precise numbers.
Of those questioned, 56pc in total said they had been bullied, harassed or discriminated against, with this rising to 74pc for national newspapers and 100pc for regional newsrooms.
NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “It has been heart-breaking to deal with members whose dreams have been shattered because of the behaviour of their managers and of failure of employers to tackle bullying and bullies.
“I have heard testimonies from members who said, ‘News editors threw reporters on to the same story, everyone was terrified of putting a foot wrong. People were put under such pressure. Reporters were effectively encouraged to shaft each other. It was such a demoralising situation’ and from women journalists who had been offered promotion in return for having sex with their boss.
“We chose Creating without Conflict as the title of this conference and campaign because we want to promote workplaces where workers and managers learn to be constructive with their criticism during the creative process.
“Today’s conference was about how trade unions can look at solutions and strategies and work with employers to tackle this blight on the media, arts and entertainment industries.”
The Creating without Conflict report was being presented at a conference in London today and recommends better training for workers and managers in dealing with unreasonable behaviour, confidential hotlines and union recognition in workplaces.
The report was written by Cathy John, a senior lecturer in cultural theory and policy at Arts University Bournemouth.
Of the newspaper journalists who completed the survey, 72.3pc said that the perpetrator of the bullying was either a line manager or editor.
The results showed only a third of those who suffered bullying in the creative industries reported the incidents and eight out of ten women who were bullied said their gender was a factor, with incidents reported from lewd comments to sexual assault.