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The Network of Women in Media, India, is an association which aims to provide a forum for women in media professions to share information and resources, exchange ideas, promote media awareness and ethics, and work for gender equality and justice within the media and society. Local groups linked to the NWMI are currently functioning in 16 centres across the country.


 

The NWMI condemns the hasty and undemocratic revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, amidst a clampdown on democratic rights and the right to free speech and expression in the state.
Over a hundred media women from more than 18 states in India met in New Delhi in February 2019 for the 14th national meeting of the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI). Held at and in collaboration with the Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Milia Islamia, the three-day meeting included sessions on community media; covering the elections; reporting the less reported and internal sessions for network members. A public meeting, ‘Building on #MeToo in Indian Media’ was followed by a kathak recital on women’s identity.
The Network of Women in Media, India condemns the arrest of Prashant Kanojia, Ishita Singh and Anuj Shukla and demands their immediate release. These arrests are a serious clampdown on not just their fundamental rights but also the constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and expression. They are also an indicator that the UP government is intolerant of dissent and selective in addressing crimes. Equating criticism of the chief minister with disturbing law and order is totally contrary to freedom of expression in a democracy.
NWMI's Gender, Media and Election Watch blog looks at how political parties, the media, candidates and the public in these states are responding (or not) to the need for gender equality and balance in politics. Where and who are the female candidates?  How are female voters seen and addressed?  How far do the media use a gender lens while covering elections?  How much and what kind of coverage do female candidates receive?  How far are female voters' perceptions and opinions taken into account in media reports?
Media reports about sexual violence may be geared towards raising awareness and justice but the images themselves sometimes end up doing damage instead because they reinforce the stereotype of women as “easy prey”, in turn encouraging rape culture. One powerful way to make society view such women as “survivors” and not “victims” is to change the way the media depicts them. NWMi member Ankita Anand writes about her innovative campaign.
Nileena ACJ PrizeNWMI member Nileena M S won the ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism, 2018, for her story ‘Coalgate 2.0: The Adani Group reaps benefits worth thousands of crores of rupees as the coal scam continues under the Modi government’ published as a cover story in Caravan magazine in March 2018.
The NWMI expresses shock at the intimidatory and illegal behaviour towards a woman editor at the New Delhi bureau of Agencia EFE, a Spanish news agency, and demands immediate redressal.
On World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2019, the NWMI shines a spotlight on the difficult conditions under which media persons gather and disseminate credible news and affirms its commitment to raise a voice for press freedom and for journalists everywhere who strive to uphold the highest tenets of journalism, without fear or favour.

Marouf GaziSrinagar-based independent journalist Marouf Gazi, 26, has been conferred the Third NWMI Fellowship (2019), instituted to support women journalists working in various kinds of challenging situations.

This year, the NWMI received 28 excellent applications from Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand. The applicants belonged to various minorities, marginalized communities like Adivasis and Dalits, and also represented a range of media forms – print, online, television, radio and community media. Most of the applicants live and work in remote areas and in very challenging political and economic situations. All of them highlighted the difficulties of pursuing journalism as a career due to gender and other barriers.

The NWMI expresses concern over the order of the High Court of Meghalaya holding Patricia Mukhim and Shobha Chaudhuri of contempt of its court and imposing a fine of Rs 2 lakh to be paid within two weeks. This order, if carried out, could not only result in the intimidation of the individuals concerned but could also deter freedom of expression and threaten press freedom in the country as a whole.