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Reporter banned from covering execution over ‘too short’ skirt

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When Ivana Hrynkiw dressed for work on Thursday, she chose a skirt she had worn to report on several other executions.

But when the Alabama reporter arrived at William C. Holman Correctional Center in Atmore, a prison official told her she couldn’t watch convicted murderer Joe Nathan James Jr.’s lethal injection — her skirt was too short and violated the prison dress code. , wrote the journalist and executive producer of AL.com in a statement she posted online.

Hrynkiw was confused. She had worn exactly this skirt in several of the six executions she reported on, all without issue. Still, Hrynkiw pulled the skirt down to comply with the dress code. It was not enough, an official told him.

“It was an uncomfortable situation,” Hrynkiw wrote. in his post“and I felt embarrassed to have my body and clothes questioned in front of a room of people most of whom I had never met.”

Without a change of clothes and with a reporting assignment at hand, Hrynkiw accepted a photographer’s offer to let him wear his rain gear – waterproof fisherman’s waders. The prison official approved this outfit.

But Hrynkiw’s wardrobe issues were unresolved. After putting on the man’s thigh-high boots, tying the suspenders under his shirt, he was told his open-toed heels were “too revealing”. Hrynkiw retired to her car, where she had stored a new pair of tennis shoes.

“Despite wearing a pair of thigh high boots from a man I’ve never met and casual tennis shoes, I continued to do my job,” Hrynkiw wrote, adding, “I sat down, I tried to stop blushing and did my job.

“As women often have to.”

The state said one execution passed “without complication”. The reporters in the room had a different story.

Hrynkiw, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, wrote that she thought her skirt was appropriate. His boss – Kelly Ann Scott, editor and vice president of content for Alabama Media Group – said what happened to Hrynkiw was “wrong”. AL.com has filed a formal complaint with the Alabama Department of Corrections. The Associated Press, whose reporter was also subject to the newly enforced dress code, sent a letter to Governor Kay Ivey (R) urging him to ‘ensure that such behavior is not tolerated and does not happen again “.

“Ivana is always, always professional – and despite how she was treated, she was initially focused on covering an execution,” Scott tweeted. She also told AL.com that the incident was “sexist and a gross violation of professional conduct” that “shouldn’t happen to any other journalist anymore.”

In a July 29 letter the AP sent to the Washington Post, editor Julie Pace said, “Female reporters for arbitrary clothing inspections are humiliating, discriminatory and simply unacceptable behavior toward professional journalists who are trying to cover up one of the most serious events they are called upon to witness”.

The siblings did not want the mother’s killer to be executed. It happened anyway.

The Alabama Department of Corrections did not immediately respond to a Post request for comment Monday morning. But AL.com reported that prison officials had not enforced a dress code for the previous decade, as Hrynkiw and other reporters covered the executions. The prison official who confronted Hrynkiw about her skirt, Corrections spokeswoman Kelly Betts, told reporters that Holman’s new prison warden, Terry Raybon, decided to invoke the policy of the dress code, which had long been dormant.

Kim Chandler’s clothes were also examined when she arrived at Holman Jail on Thursday evening to cover the PA execution. Chandler said she first reported on an execution in 2002 and had “covered a lot” in the 20 years since. “This was the first time I had to stand in the media room to have my dress length checked,” she wrote on Twitter.

After news of Hrynkiw’s wardrobe issues broke, Betts called her to apologize for the sudden dress code enforcement and for embarrassing Hrynkiw, according to AL.com. She then released a statement saying the department would send dress code reminders to reporters covering future events at correctional facilities.

“We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this settlement may have caused,” the statement read, AL.com reported. “We hope that by including it in future media advisories, we can avoid this kind of situation.”

A women’s handball team wore shorts instead of skimpy bikini-bottom uniforms. The league fined them over $1,700.

Gender-specific dress codes have been criticized in recent years. An outcry ensued after a Norwegian beach handball team defied their sport’s governing body by wearing tight sports shorts instead of the mandatory bikini bottom – and were fined £1 500 euros as a result, reported The Post. Students and parents have accused a North Texas school district of unfairly targeting girls after officials said they were implementing a new dress code to improve the ‘future workforce skills’ of girls. students, a code that banned dresses, skirts and hoodies, according to The Post. And for the past seven years, a North Carolina school district tried to get its students to wear gender-specific uniforms — for girls, that meant skirts, skorts, or sweaters — until a federal appeals court earlier this year ruled the dress code unconstitutional, noting in its opinion that it was “difficult to imagine a clearer example of a justification based on impermissible gender stereotypes”, reported The Post .

Hrynkiw, who had covered the build-up to the execution, continued to report throughout the night. About three hours after she and other journalists were bussed from the media center to the jail, Hrynkiw broke the news that James had been executed.

Chandler, the AP reporter who passed the dress code inspection, then praised her colleague’s reporting.

“Hrynkiw is [an] admirable and professional journalist,” Chandler wrote in a tweet, “even in thigh high boots.”



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