Statements

Statements

The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) condemns, in the strongest terms, the widespread attack on journalists reporting on the communal violence in the capital, particularly North East Delhi, over the past week. The attacks were clearly an attempt to threaten, harm and silence journalists engaged in their professional duty to inform the public about the situation prevailing in the city. We call upon members of our profession to uphold the highest standards and ethics of journalism and not fall prey to divisive and partisan interests in their reportage.
The Network of Women In Media, India (NWMI) notes with concern a lack of commitment and increasing confusion in India’s English news media regarding the coverage of sexual harassment. The latest episode is the disappearance of several articles about complaints of alleged molestation made against lawyer Soumya Dasgupta, son of BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta and journalist Reshmi Dasgupta.
The NWMI concluded its 15th national meeting in Bangalore on 9 February 2019 with a renewed commitment to the critical role of the news media in a democracy, at a time when constitutional values are under threat from intensified intolerance of the nation’s diversity and pluralism. The NWMI also took serious note of attacks on journalists and the routine violations of the fundamental right to freedom of expression, to information and communication, and to dissent.

The Network of Women in Media, India, strongly condemns the brutal assault on students participating in protests, and mediapersons covering the protests, over the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, in Assam as well as in Delhi, Aligarh and other cities. The violent attacks, by both government security forces and unidentified protestors, serve to curb citizens’ freedom to express their opinions on current affairs and journalists’ freedom to report events fairly and accurately.

The NWMI expresses its deep concern over recent retaliatory lawsuits slapped on women who have spoken out and/or aided the process of disclosure about incidents of sexual harassment. A year after the revelations of sexual harassment in the media, arts and entertainment worlds during the second wave of “#MeToo” in India, women continue to be targeted for speaking up, besides being routinely harassed and bullied online. In this backlash, some women who shared their experiences of sexual harassment and those who supported them are not only having to deal with smear campaigns directed at them but are also being victimised and re-victimised through defamation suits filed by the men they named.
The NWMI condemns the shocking attack and intimidation of a woman journalist on 8 September while she was travelling on duty in Srinagar, Kashmir and stands in solidarity with the Women Journalists' Association, Kashmir.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The NWMI concluded its 14th national meeting in New Delhi on 3 February 2019 with a renewed resolve to continue calling upon media organisations, especially decision makers within them, to recognise that gender equality is a fundamental right, and that ensuring inclusive and safe workplaces (within and outside offices), as well as gender aware and balanced coverage of events and issues, are Constitutional obligations that they are duty bound to seriously strive to fulfil.
The NWMI is deeply concerned about the continuing threat to a Guwahati-based woman journalist, and demands that the police take stronger action on her FIR detailing the alleged assault by a reporter of Republic TV.
Journalists need the freedom to investigate and report on stories of public interest –whether illegal sand mining or corrpuption– and hold those in power accountable. A free press, is after all, one of the cornerstones of a democracy, without which it would be reduced to a farce. The NWMI therefore calls upon the Tamil Nadu police to desist from harassing journalists and stop the witch-hunt to which they are being subjected. The BJP must ask its members to cease false propaganda and innuendo against journalists who were doing their job.
The NWMI expresses strong support for and draws the media’s attention to the Kisan Mukti March at New Delhi on November 29 and 30, 2018, when thousands of farmers and farm labourers from across India will be marching to the capital. This is an opportunity to generate detailed, genuine debate on the future of agriculture, a sector that sustains us all.
The NWMI has recognised sexual harassment at the workplace as a serious problem since its inception.  The Bangalore network conducted the first survey of SHW in Indian media back in 2001, even before the network was launched at the national level in January 2002.  The NWMI's first statement on a case of sexual harassment in a media workplace dates back to 2003. NWMI's statements on instances of sexual harassment at the workplace that came to the network's attention, as well as the gang rape of a journalist on a work assignment, are given here, along with personal testimonies by NWMI members, and reports of NWMI state network meetings on #MeToo
The NWMI strongly objects to the statement issued by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi on November 3, 2018, to editors and decision-makers in the news media, requesting them to refrain from deputing women journalists of a particular age group to Sabarimala to cover the reopening of the temple for a special puja on Monday (November 5).  We believe this is an unjustified and unacceptable interference in the functioning of the media and an unfair obstacle in the way of journalists –who happen to be women–  who wish to cover an important story of public interest.

MeToo logo by Manjula PThe Network of Women in Media, India, condemns the decision of The Wire to allow Vinod Dua, against whom sexual harassment accusations have been levelled, to use his show ‘Jan Gan Man Ki Baat: Rafale Deal and Rising Fuel Prices’ to malign the #METoo movement and mock the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him as ‘muck’.

In the first video that was uploaded on Tuesday, October 16, Vinod Dua said the media was not asking the government questions on 'real issues', and was instead preoccupied with stories of “who sexually harassed whom how many years ago”.

The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) vehemently denounces the attacks on journalists, including several women journalists, at Nilackal/Sabarimala. Saritha S Balan of The Newsminute, Pooja Prasanna of Republic, Radhika Ramaswamy of CNN-News 18 and Maushumi Singh of India Today were attacked today while attempting to cover the situation at the entry point to the Sabarimala hill temple, scheduled to open for monthly rituals this evening. Yesterday several journalism students were stopped by protesters, mainly female, who were stopping and screening all vehicles bound for Pampa. It is up to the government to see that more names are not added to the list and that mob frenzy is not allowed to interfere with freedom of expression, the public's right to information and the media's responsibility to report on events and issues of public concern.
NWMI (Network of Women in Media, India) extends its unstinting support to the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) of the Malayalam film industry in its relentless crusade to seek justice for a Malayalam actor who was sexually assaulted in February 2017. WCC has been fighting against the apathy of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) in Kerala, that has reinstated actor Dileep who is accused of masterminding the assault on the survivor (Dileep was suspended from AMMA following his arrest last year but was arbitrarily reinstated when he got out on bail this year).

MeToo logo by Manjula PThe Network of  Women in Media, India, along with the Foundation for Media Professionals and BrihanMumbai Union of Journalists, stands in solidarity with Priya Ramani and others who have accused former editor and current Union Minister of State MJ Akbar of sexual misconduct, and condemn what we see as a concerted effort to throttle an equal rights movement by using the threat of defamation suits to intimidate women who have gathered the courage to speak up. 

We express our deep dismay at the allegations of sexual harassment, including assault, levelled by several journalists against Mr Akbar who continues to hold office in the Central Government despite these allegations. 

The Network of Women in Media in India stands in absolute solidarity with all those who have bravely spoken up about their experiences of sexual harassment within the Indian media. This is a watershed moment for all of us in journalism. We have witnessed and reported on sexual harassment in different fields and the need for strong mechanisms for redress. As the spotlight turns on us, we welcome this and encourage more women to document their accounts without fear or inhibitions.
The NWMI is deeply dismayed at the unprofessional, biased and non-factual reporting on the recent arrests of human rights activists from several Indian cities on August 28, 2018. The NWMI urges the media community to desist from irresponsible and malicious media trials and building up public opinion based on prejudice and fabricated evidence and to instead confine itself to its role of watchdog, questioning and investigating events and issues of public interest and importance.
The NWMI strongly condemns the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes' (AMMA) decision to reinstate actor Dileep who stands accused of being the mastermind behind the abduction and assault of a prominent woman actor from the Malayalam film industry in February 2017.
The NWMI is appalled at two shows broadcast on Times Now on May 28, 2018 on the Tejpal rape case that were both illegal and unethical. The two shows, that ran consecutively at 8 pm. and 9 pm. respectively, were titled ‘Secrets of a dark night’ on the India Upfront show, anchored by Times Now editor-in-chief Rahul Shivshankar and ‘Tejpal’s indiscretions caught on CCTV’ on the Newshour debate, anchored by Times Now Managing Editor-Politics Navika Kumar. The NWMI registered its protest with Times Now over the unethical and sensational coverage of a sensitive issue like sexual assault, and demanded that the videos be taken down. Here is a slightly edited version of the letter to Times Now.
The NWMI expresses solidarity with the courageous and meaningful journalism being practiced by Ravish Kumar, Executive Editor of NDTV India and demands that institutions mandated to protect the Indian Constitution take immediate and suo moto cognisance of the abuse and threats directed at him.
The NWMI stands in solidarity with Kashmiri photojournalist Masrat Zahra, who is being subjected to online abuse and intimidation for carrying out her journalistic duty.
The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) registers its unequivocal condemnation of the appointment of Ms Jagrati Shukla as consultant to Lok Sabha TV, as is being reported widely in the media, and as being claimed by Ms Shukla on her social media profiles.
The attacks on journalists and press photographers covering the panchayat poll process in West Bengal is reprehensible. Such intimidation and violence adversely impacts free and fair reporting of the electoral process, and also impinges on the public’s right to know, says the NWMI
Noting with deep concern the sustained and apparently orchestrated social media vilification of journalist Rana Ayyub, the NWMI demands that the Cyber-Crime cell of the Delhi Police take immediate steps to ensure safety for Rana Ayyub, identify the source/s of the threats and take stringent action against them.
The Network of Women in Media in India (NWMI), a collective of women media professionals across India, strongly condemns the patronising behaviour of Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, towards a woman journalist, Lakshmi Subramanian, at a press conference held in Chennai on Tuesday, April 17. The Governor decided to pat Lakshmi on the cheek when asked a question by the journalist – an act that amounts to sexual harassment at the workplace under the laws of the country.
Swathi cartoonThe NWMI strongly condemns the filing of an FIR against journalist and cartoonist Swathi Vadlamudi under Section 295 (a) of the IPC (“deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs”). The cartoon in question depicts the mythical Hindu gods, Ram and Sita, on the issue of abduction and violence against women in India.
Page 1 of 3

Our centres