Public Affairs




For 40 years, WASHINGTON WEEK has delivered one of the most interesting conversations of the week. It is the longest-running public affairs program on PBS and features a group of journalists participating in roundtable discussions of major news events.



Our Four Chiefs


Kaua‘i Chief of Police Darryl Perry. Hawai‘i Island Police Chief Paul Ferreira. From Maui County, Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu. And Honolulu Police Department’s new leader, Chief Susan Ballard. INSIGHTS brings you an unprecedented live broadcast – a conversation with our four chiefs.


Among the questions we’ll explore during the live conversation:

  • What are the priorities and problems for law enforcement in each county?
  • Is gender bias tolerated within our county police departments?
  • How has the homeless problem impacted the role of police officers?
  • Are we tough enough on repeat offenders?
  • Are we too toughon those who commit victimless crime?


Join us during our live discussion by phoning in, or leaving us a comment on Facebook or Twitter. INSIGHTS is also live streamed on and Facebook Live.


Phone Lines:
462-5000 on Oahu or 800-238-4847 on the Neighbor Islands.




Visit the PBS Hawai‘i Facebook page.


Join our live discussion using #pbsinsights



Has Sexual Harassment Changed in the Last 20 Years?



In 1998, University of Texas at Arlington researcher James Campbell Quick published his review of sexual harassment research in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.


Two decades later, Quick teamed up with M. Ann McFadyen, a colleague at UTA, to see just how much—if anything—had changed since he diagnosed the chronic workplace problem in the late ’90s.


Sexual Harassment pbs rewire
Source: American Sociological Review


In some ways, they learned, the climate of workplace sexual harassment appeared to improve—there has been a 28 percent decline in complaints since 1998, according to Quick and McFadyen’s analysis of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Fair Employment Practices Agencies data.


But—as has been made clear in headlines over and over the past few months—sexual harassment is an insidious problem that continues to plague workplaces across industries. And the changing demographics of workplaces and methods of harassment make it tougher to track than researchers would like.


Not just a ‘woman’s problem’

Though complaints are down overall, complaints filed by men have increased by 15 percent in the past 20 years, the researchers found.


This probably doesn’t mean that incidents of sexual harassment against men are increasing—the researchers pointed out that “males in the workplace are simply more willing to file complaints given the reduced stigma around males making complaints. This may be indeed because of increased awareness of what constitutes (sexual harassment) and how to report” it.


This probably goes hand in hand with a more inclusive concept of what sexual harassment is. Though there are still stereotypes and misunderstandings surrounding sexual harassment, it’s no longer considered solely a “woman’s problem” as it was 20 years ago, the researchers wrote. Recent studies show that 30 percent of working men experience sexual harassment, as do 50 percent of working women. Men in the military are 10 times more likely to be sexually harassed than civilian men, but 81 percent do not report it.


One study the researchers looked at suggested that sexual harassment might be even more damaging to mental health to male victims.


“When a man is sexually harassed, it may be more unexpected, have a more stigmatizing effect, and consequently, be more detrimental to mental health,” mental health researcher Dawne Vogt and her team wrote in their paper. “On a related note, it is likely that there is generally more social support available to women compared with men who experience sexual harassment.”


A shift in the right direction

These days, the EEOC, the government organization that handles elevated work discrimination complaints, is more likely to find in the favor of the accuser when a sexual harassment complaint is filed than it was 20 years ago. Quick and McFadyen found that “merit resolutions”—findings that indicate the accuser’s complaint had merit—had increased by nearly 40 percent. And the amount of money the EEOC collects on behalf of sexual harassment victims has increased by 6 percent.


It’s rare, however, that sexual harassment claims make it that far. In the EEOC’s 2016 report on harassment in the workplace, task force co-chairs Chai R. Feldblum and Victoria A. Lipnic wrote that most cases continue to go unreported. Victims will often change jobs rather than file a formal complaint “because they fear disbelief of their claim, inaction on their claim, blame, or social or professional retaliation.”


Sexual Harassment pbs rewire
Source: EEOC and FEPA data

“The least common response to harassment is to take some formal action—either to report the harassment internally or file a formal legal complaint,” Feldblum and Lipnic wrote. “Roughly three out of four individuals who experienced harassment never even talked to a supervisor, manager or union representative about the harassing conduct.”


A diversifying workforce

Changing demographics in the workplace also make for some conflicting findings on the realities of sexual harassment. With a growing number of young, educated women in the workforce, some scholars believed sexual harassment would peter out as norms changed. Yet the persistence of sexual harassment, even as workplaces become more superficially equal, supports researcher Berdahl’s belief that harassers might feel threatened by an increase in women in the workplace and double down on harassment as a means of maintaining the status quo, Quick and McFadyen pointed out.


More and more attention is being paid to how other identities intersect with sexual harassment—in the majority of past research on sexual harassment, white women were the focus. The black and hispanic subjects of a 2009 study on the intersection of race and sexual harassment published in the Western Journal of Communication “reported sexual harassment experiences that were intertwined with racial discrimination.”


Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community are more likely to be sexually harassed based on sexual orientation than on gender alone, a recent study by Verónica Caridad Rabelo and Lilia M.Cortina found. These researchers argued this evidence could be used to expand formal sexual harassment protections to include harassment based on sexual orientation.


Quick and McFadyen believe more academic attention needs to be paid to these intersections as employers and employees try to snuff out workplace sexual harassment.


“There has been progress on some fronts but not on others and the problem has morphed, becoming more complicated for a variety of reasons,” they wrote. “We know that the makeup of the workforce is changing. … We also know little about millennials’ view of what constitutes (sexual harassment) in the workplace, important as this generation is larger than the baby-boomer generation, and have a much different attitude toward work, sexual behavior and responsibility.”


Katie Moritz

Katie Moritz is Rewire’s web editor and a Pisces who enjoys thrift stores, rock concerts and pho. She covered politics for a newspaper in Juneau, Alaska, before driving down to balmy Minnesota to help produce long-standing public affairs show “Almanac” at Twin Cities PBS. Now she works on this here website. Reach her via email at Follow her on Twitter @katecmoritz and on Instagram @yepilikeit.



Amanpour on PBS


Amanpour on PBS, a new weeknight public affairs program hosted by CNN International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour, premieres Monday at 11:00 pm. Amanpour on PBS fills the programming hole left in the wake of PBS’ cancellation of the late-night program from Charlie Rose. Amanpour on PBS will feature conversations with global leaders and decision makers on the issues affecting the world today.





Winnie Explore the life of Winnie Mandela and her struggle to bring down Apartheid, with intimate insights from those closest to her and testimony from the enemies who sought to extinguish her radical capacity to shake up the order of things.



The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution


This is the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, and dozens of others, the film is a vibrant chronicle of this pivotal movement that gave rise to a new revolutionary culture in America.



The Gang Crackdown

FRONTLINE: The Gang Crackdown


Investigate a slew of killings linked to the MS-13 gang and the crackdown that swept up immigrant teens. Some 25 bodies have surfaced since 2016. Law enforcement is trying to stop the gang, but some teens have been unlawfully detained in the process.



PBS NewsHour
State of the Union Address


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will deliver his annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Jan. 30.


Join us on Tuesday, January 30th at 4:00 pm for PBS NewsHour’s coverage of President Trump’s State of the Union Address, the Democratic party’s response, and in-depth analysis from the PBS NewsHour team.


The Democratic response can be viewed below.



Setting Course in Hawai‘i: You Can Guide Your Future

ROAD TRIP NATION - Setting Course in Hawai‘i: You Can Guide Your Future


The team interviews Governor David Y. Ige; environmental policy specialist Hoku Ka‘aekuahiwi Pousima inspires Tehani to pursue her interest in law; and biologist Chrystie Naeole advises Keakealani and Traven on how they can maintain their unique identities while pursuing their ideas of success.



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