Bhubaneswar, August 25: UNICEF Odisha on Thursday organised a workshop on gender sensitive reporting and writing for journalists in Odisha. More than 120 journalists attended the workshop, aimed at promoting equal and sensitive representation of gender in the media.
A checklist for media was presented at the workshop, giving tips to journalists on how they can make their stories more gender sensitive, challenge social norms and ensures that voices of women are equally heard. Legislations such as The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 exists to prohibit indecent portrayal of women through advertisements, publications, writings, paintings etc.
The check list also includes gender sensitive methods on reporting on crime against women and emphasises on publishing follow up stories to write on the issue even as the focus is on the crime survivor.
Radhika Srivastava, Communication and Advocacy Specialist, UNICEF, Odisha, Dr Monika Nielsen, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Odisha, Madhuri Das, Gender Specialist, UNICEF, Delhi and Kasturi Ray, Senior News Editor, The New Indian Express spoke on the occasion.
The workshop started with an informal discussion on what the reporters/ journalists expect from this event. According to global data presented at the workshop, only 23% content in the media related to women while less than half of stories were reported by women. Data also showed that among spokesperson’s quoted, only 19 per cent were women.
The participants discussed the various challenges and barriers they face within their workspace and in the external environment related to gender sensitive reporting, especially since most women do not make it to decision making positions within media organisations.
The experts urged media houses to be very mindful of the impact of gender sensitive reporting and should not do something just for the sake of sensation and high earned TRPs.