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Reporter Jodi Kantor CC’96 Leads National Conversation About Sexual Misconduct

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Jodi Kantor CC'96 - Dec 2017 Cover Story

Photograph: Jake Chessum for Variety

On October 5, 2017, Jodi Kantor CC’96’s seminal article in The New York Times, co-authored with Megan Twohey, about the decades of sexual harassment complaints against Harvey Weinstein was published. It helped launch the national conversation about sexual harassment and assault that’s dominated the news cycle this fall, from scandals involving high-powered executives and celebrities to an outpouring of stories from women and men using the hashtag #MeToo. (Go here for a full list of articles written by and featuring Kantor.)

“I don’t know if there’s a more satisfying feeling, as a journalist, than to watch these stories talking to each other and to watch the common themes develop again and again and again,” said Kantor in her December 3, 2017, acceptance speech for the Los Angeles Press Club’s Impact Award.

Kantor and Twohey’s work most recently landed them on the December 13, 2017, cover of Variety, and included them in the special report “Hollywood Uncovered: How New York Times Reporters Broke Hollywood’s Biggest Sexual Harassment Story,” in which Brett Lang writes:

New York Times investigative reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor deserve a lot of credit for helping to spark this industry-wide reckoning. ... By meticulously chronicling Weinstein’s abuses, these reporters have inspired other people to speak out and go public about the cultures of harassment in the workplace.”

In a December 5, 2017, TimesTalk on “The #MeToo Moment” with actor Ashley Judd and several of Kantor’s fellow Times journalists, Kantor said, “When we started, I thought it was possible that we were just correcting the history in terms of things that had happened years ago. In the course of the reporting, the moral gravity of the story shifted once we began to find out about incidents as recent as 2015. That for us was the journalistic ‘aha’ moment to say, these allegations never stopped coming.”

Kantor went into further detail in interviews with Slate and “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross on NPR, among other news outlets, about how she tackled the difficult task of reporting on Hollywood’s “open secret” about Weinstein. She is also featured in Vanity Fair’s “Hall of Fame: The Times Reporters Who Brought Sexual Harassment Out of the Shadows” in the Holiday 2017 issue. On December 7, 2017, it was announced that Penguin Press will publish a book by Kantor and Twohey about sexual abuse and harassment scandals.

This isn’t the first time that Kantor’s work has provoked a national reaction. Her case study on gender equity at Harvard Business School led to a discussion on the treatment of women in business schools and her report on working mothers and breastfeeding brought about more public, free-standing lactation suites, created by two of Kantor’s readers.

Jodi Kantor CC'96 for CCT

Photograph: Daniella Zalcman CC’09

Kantor has covered myriad other topics in long-form articles for the Times since she joined it in 2002, including refugees, workplace dynamics (notably “Inside Amazon”) and the Kushner family. She is also the author of The Obamas, an in-depth biography of Michelle and Barack Obama CC’83 that covers their 2008 and 2012 campaigns and delves into their approach to the White House — and to life.

In April 2017, Kantor was on the “Women in the News” panel (watch video), part of Columbia College Women's 30th Symposium Celebration, which honored 30 years of coeducation at the College. She is also a recipient of a Columbia College Young Alumni Achievement Award, was named to Crain’s New York Business “40 Under 40” list and is a contributor to CBS This Morning.

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