CBC reporter Shannon Martin on FHRITP: 'it's mortifying'

Shannon Martin has had “F--k her right in the p---y" hurled at her from a passing car, in a children’s area at the Exhibition and even at a GTA high school.

Female journalists increasingly concerned about reporting amid large crowds

FHRITP clip on CBC Toronto's Metro Morning

9 years ago
Duration 6:03
CBC Toronto reporter Shannon Martin speaks with Matt Galloway about encountering the vulgar comment while shooting a story

Shannon Martin has had "F--k her right in the p---y" hurled at her from a passing car, in a children's area at the Exhibition and at a Toronto high school.

It was during that last instance — when several groups of students took turns hurling the crude phrase at her while she worked — that really shocked her.

"I want to curl up in myself. It's mortifying," Martin told CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

"They were trying to get a laugh from their buddies, but I don't think they were thinking about the words," she said.

Still shaken days after, Martin alerted the school board of the incident and sent them the video. Eventually, for the students involved, they were able to use it as a learning opportunity.

But Martin says she, and many other female colleagues, encounter someone yelling the phrase at least once a week. Few male colleagues, she said, have similar experiences while reporting in public places.

Increasingly, covering stories where there are large crowds — especially where alcohol is present — are becoming undesirable assignments for female reporters. CBC journalists in Newfoundland and Montreal have also voiced similar complaints. 

"It's uncomfortable," Martin said, adding a lot of the CBC Toronto team feels the same way.

Watch Martin's full interview with Metro Morning in the video above.