Statements
Statements

Statements

To the spirit of Gauri Lankesh, you inspire us forever. To journalists everywhere, this is a note of solidarity. We the Network of Women in the Media, India solemnly swear to uphold the values of journalism. This does not and should not need to be prefaced with good. Or courageous. Or brave. We must simply power on in the face of the greatest adversity, threats and political opposition to do what our job mandates. To be free and fair and stand together solidly behind each other to be able to rise against the tidal wave of intolerance and often criminal intimidation that surrounds us and tries to prevent us everywhere. We want to declare to ourselves and to everyone that is watching with and without malice - we will not be prevented, silenced, outdone or shut down. 

NWMI urges action by media houses on sexual harassment at the workplace

Over the past few months the Network of Women in Media, India, has been informed about a number of cases of sexual harassment in media workplaces in different parts of the country. It is disturbing, distressing and unacceptable that such offensive and illegal behaviour continues to occur in media organisations in the new millennium. The media, which often report on cases of sexual and other forms of violence against women in society at large, must surely recognise that sexual harassment is tantamount to violence, and that sexual harassment at the workplace is not only a gross violation of women's right to a safe and supportive work environment but also, more fundamentally, of their basic right to livelihood.

The latest instance to come to light is the case of Sabita Lahkar of Guwahati (Assam), a member of the NWMI and till recently working as Chief Sub-Editor with Amar Asom, an Assamese daily. Her allegations of prolonged and repeated sexual and professional harassment (from 2000 onwards) against the editor of the paper and of wrongful termination of service (in September 2003) —made public through a press conference in Guwahati and an open letter sent via e-mail to the Press Council of India and the Editors' Guild as well as mediapersons in the rest of the country —have been accepted and supported by journalist colleagues in Guwahati. The Journalists Union of Assam, an affiliate of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU), organised a protest meeting at the Guwahati Press Club in September, at which several speakers representing different organisations, including the IJU and the Press Club, the National Federation of Newspaper Employees, the Assam Tribune Employees Union, the Assam Press Correspondents Union, and Nirjatita Nari Mancha, strongly condemned the editor's reported behaviour. Participants in the meeting resolved to send memorandum on the issue to the Press Council of India, the Editors Guild (India) and the Indian Newspaper Society. Earlier, the Assam Human Rights Commission had asked the media house concerned to look into the case and file a report by mid-October.

The NWMI supports these efforts and hopes that justice will be done in Sabita's case. The network would also like to use this opportunity to urge media houses everywhere to heed the landmark judgement of the Supreme Court of India on sexual harassment at the workplace (in what is popularly known as the Vishaka case). The judgement provides a clear definition of the range of behaviours that the apex court views as sexual harassment under the law. It also places the onus on employers to make this definition known to all employees, male and female, so that everyone is aware of the various behaviours that are both socially and legally unacceptable. In addition, it mandates the setting up of sexual harassment complaints and redressal committees within the workplace that include at least one member external to the organisation with relevant knowledge and experience in dealing with such matters. Compliance with the Supreme Court's guidelines is the very least that mediawomen expect of the media which are, after all, supposed to be the watchdogs of society.

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Letter protesting against the recent attacks on journalists

March 14, 2005
Sub: Recent attacks on journalists

The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) wishes to protest against the attack last Friday by the Shiv Sena on the Business Today office.

Political parties, especially the Shiv Sena and the BJP, are notorious for targeting the media, blaming them for their alleged biased reporting. But what happened at the offices of the India Today group goes beyond all norms of democracy. A media house is at perfect liberty to invite whoever it wants to its private functions. By wrecking the office of the magazine the Sena has once again proved its lumpen character. As media persons, we wish to register our protest at these types of incidents, which are becoming far too common in various parts of the country. We urge all those working as journalists to take a strong stand on this issue.

This incident comes after the attack on NDTV journalist Ms Priyanka
Kakodkar who was covering the events in Goa recently. On March 4, the day of the trust vote in Panaji, she and other reporters were heckled and assaulted by BJP workers who were demonstrating outside the Raj Bhavan in Goa after the BJP lost the trust vote. The Congress won the trust vote and, later, President's rule was imposed. There is evidence to believe the attack was planned as Ms Kakodkar was there for over an hour before the attack began.
Shortly before the journalists set up their cameras for live broadcast, the BJP started shouting slogans against NDTV reporters, calling them "pimps of the Congress" and making lewd gestures. While Ms Kakodkar was on air, they continued to shout slogans against her, accusing her of being pro-Congress.

At one point, one of them threw stones at her and, then, they tried to
snatch the crew's equipment.Luckily, Goa reporters rallied around and
defused a potentially violent situation. Although a BJP leader from the
former chief minister's officer was at the spot, he merely said, "What can I do if the rank and file is upset?"

We strongly oppose such attacks on mediapersons. We believe they
undermine the freedom of the press and represent attempts at censorship by mob. At a time when press freedom is under so much threat from various quarters it is important for journalists to resist such efforts to intimidate the media.
Journalists' right to report news without fear or favour is closely linked to citizens' rights to freedom of expression and to information which, in turn, are essential aspects of democracy. No political party has the right to infringe on the democratic character of the press. Assaults such as these reveal the undemocratic character of parties that indulge in them.

We also demand that the culprits in both cases be brought to book.

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.

Sincerely,
On Behalf of NWMI
Ammu Joseph, Kalpana Sharma, Sameera Khan, Geeta Seshu, Manjeet Kripalani, Neeta Kolhatkar, Shubha Khandekar, Rajni Bakshi, Nilan Singh, Meena Menon, Laxmi Murthy, Lalitha Vaidyanathan, Akhileshwari Ramagoud, Shala Raza, Manipadma Jena, Renu Ramanath, Rajashri Dasgupta, Ranjita Biswas, Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti, Ritusmita Sikdar, Indira Kanjilal, Annam Suresh, Rina Mukherjee, Anjali Mathur.

 

A copy of this letter was sent to:

 

Press Council of India,
Soochna Bhavan, 8-C.G.O. Complex,
Lodhi Road,
New Delhi 110003
Email: pcids@vsnl.net

Imphal, March 8, 2009

In what can be considered a landmark event, around 60 women journalists from across India met in Imphal from March 5 to 7, 2009, to attend the seventh annual conference of the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI). This represents the first gathering of such a large number of Indian women journalists, across all media and representing many languages, in the Northeast.

NWMI is a national network that aims to provide a forum for women media professionals to share information and resources, exchange ideas, promote media awareness and ethics, and work for gender equality and justice within the media and society.

For many of us this has been our first visit to Manipur and the Northeast region and it has provided us an incredible opportunity to interact with its people. We feel particularly privileged to have been present today when Irom Sharmila was released from the J. N. Hospital in Imphal where she has been detained because she has been on an indefinite fast demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958. Today marks the 8th year that she has sustained this protest. We were also inspired to meet the Meira Paibis, the women who have been on a relay fast for 88 days in support of Sharmila.

We are aware that the people of the Northeast, especially the women, have lived in a conflict situation for more than six decades, but the reality of what they face has not impinged on the consciousness of the rest of India. We are deeply concerned about the long-standing recourse to the AFSPA in a situation that requires serious and sustained political, economic and social initiatives in partnership with local communities.

Along with our media colleagues in the Northeast, our network would like to consider how we can bring quality and depth to coverage of this region so that the rest of India understands the realities on the ground. At the same time, as situations of terror and conflict increase in other parts of the country and journalists grapple with the challenges of covering those events and their fallouts, we believe we have much to learn from our journalist colleagues in the Northeast. We have gained many insights about how they cope with everyday strife in covering conflict issues and we hope to create a strong network of solidarity with them. 

Signatories for the NWMI

1.
Ammu Joseph, independent journalist, Bangalore
2.
Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti, independent journalist and filmmaker, Kolkata
3.
C Vanaja, independent journalist and film maker, Hyderabad
4.
Charumathi Supraja, independent journalist and consultant, Centre for Advocacy and Research, Bangalore
5.
Kalpana Sharma, independent journalist from Mumbai and member of the board of directors, International Women’s Media Foundation
6.
M Suchitra, editor, The Quest Features & Footage, Kerala
7.
Sameera Khan, independent journalist, Mumbai
8.
Sandhya Taksale, executive editor, Saptahik Sakal, Pune
9.
Teresa Rehman, principal correspondent, Tehelka, Guwahati, Assam.
10.
Thingnam Anjulika Samom, freelance journalist, Manipur
11.
Dr Vidhulata, editor, Aurat, and vice president of the Working Journalist Union, Madhya Pradesh

 

 

NWMI condemns the phenomenon of "Paid News" at Kozhikode meeting

Kozhikode, 7 February 2010

Nearly 60 women journalists from across India and an equal number from different parts of Kerala met in Kozhikode from 5 to 7 February 2010 for the eighth annual conference of the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI). This represents the first gathering in Kerala of such a large number of women working in a variety of media in multiple languages.
The NWMI is a national network that aims to provide a forum for women media professionals to share information and resources, exchange ideas, promote media awareness and ethics, and work for gender equality and justice within the media and society.

The main theme of the three-day meeting was the media and democracy. As professional women in the media, we strongly believe that the present crisis in the media, of which “paid news” is a grim symptom, requires urgent, serious intervention by media professionals working together to safeguard the principles and values of journalism and the credibility of the news media, which are both critical factors for the effective functioning of our democracy.

A panel discussion on this issue was one of the main public events organised by NWMI in which eminent journalists Mrinal Pande, the new Chairperson of Prasar Bharati and T.N. Ninan, Chairman and Editorial Director of Business Standard, as well as editors of several leading Malayalam newspapers, participated. They spoke about the phenomenon of “paid news” within the context of the ongoing deterioration of ethics and standards in the media, suggested several steps that could be taken to curb this trend including naming and shaming those publications that resort to such practices and consumer resistance to media that is selling its viewers and readers short.

Well-known social and political activist Aruna Roy, who inaugurated the conference, also spoke about the need for a more constructive intervention from the Fourth Estate on several key issues confronting the country today including attacks on tribals and minorities. She said that society looked upon journalists as “empowering agents” in a democracy and that any campaign for human rights was incomplete without the participation and support of the media.

During the conference, issues such as the Kerala media’s coverage of terrorism as well as the practice and politics of veiling and unveiling, especially within minority communities, were also discussed. Likewise the apparent disinterest of much of the mainstream media in issues related to local self-government raised questions about the media’s role in promoting democracy.

Another major learning emerged from several presentations on the current state of what is commonly known as “the Kerala model of development,” issues concerning women’s health in Kerala, myths and realities about women’s status in Kerala, what decentralised local governance and anti-poverty schemes have meant for women in the state. These insights emphasised the complexity of any society and the need for journalists to go beyond demographic data and other statistical indicators.

NWMI statement on charges against Shahina KK

11 December 2010

To:

Shri Hans Raj Bhardwaj

Honorable Governor of Karnataka Raj Bhavan, Raj Bhavan Road Bangalore 560 001  

Respected Sir,

The Network of Women in Media, India, is deeply concerned about the charges framed by the Karnataka Police against Shahina KK, a journalist working for the  Tehelka magazine. Charges were drawn up after she conducted interviews and filed a story titled “Why is this man still in jail?” on the case relating to Abdul Nasar Madani, Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), one of the accused in the Bangalore bomb blasts.

After the publication of her report in the December 4, 2010 issue of Tehelka, Shahina has been facing harassment and intimidation from the Karnataka Police. A case has been registered against her at the Somawarpet Police Station (No. 199/10) and Siddhapura Police Station (No. 241/10) under Section 506 for allegedly intimidating witnesses. A team from the Crime Branch has reportedly left for Kerala to carry out further investigations.

As working journalists, we are gravely concerned about what appears to be a clamp down on journalists doing their duty to investigate events and issues in their attempt to uncover the truth and keep the public informed. We believe the false charges framed against Shahina KK is an attempt to silence the press and to dissuade the media from delving into such matters. The trumped up charges against Shahina KK appears to be yet another instance of social profiling based on religious identity that has become all too common in recent years. We think it is imperative to uphold the right and duty of journalists to probe issues relating to human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minority communities who are accused of criminal acts, in the public interest.

By slapping charges of criminal intimidation (which carries a seven-year jail term as punishment) against a journalist the Karnataka Police has attacked the very basis of the freedom of expression, which is vital for the functioning of democracy.  That the charges are cooked up is apparent from the fact that the police claimed that they were not sure of her identity, even though Shahina showed them her press identity card, issued by Tehelka. The authorities’ misuse of all means – both fair and foul – purportedly in the ‘war on terror’ is fast becoming a war on minorities, and the freedom of press.

We therefore demand the following:

1. Withdraw all cases against KK Shahina and recall the Crime Branch team immediately.

2. Conduct an independent enquiry into the harassment of Shahina by the police

3. Allow journalists to investigate and report on cases relating to “terrorism,” including the Madani case, without further harassment

Sincerely,

On behalf of the Network of Women in Media, India.

1.  Pushpa Achanta, Journalist, Bangalore

2.  Anita Cheria, Journalist and Activist, Bangalore

3.  Rajashri Dasgupta, Independent Journalist, Kolkata

4.  Ammu Joseph, Independent Journalist, Bangalore

5.  Sameera Khan, Independent Journalist, Mumbai

6.  Laxmi Murthy, Consulting Editor, Himal Southasian, Bangalore

7.  Susmitha Narayanan, Journalist, Bangalore

8.  Jyoti Punwani, Independent Journalist, Mumbai

9.  Kalpana Sharma, Independent Journalist and columnist, Mumbai

Cc

Shri B S Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka

Justice Shri K G Balakrishnan, Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission

Justice Shri Subray Rama Nayak, Chairperson, Karnataka State Human Rights Commission

Shri P Chidambaram, Union Minister of Home Affairs

Shri Gopal Pillai, Home Secretary, Government of India

Director General of Police, Karnataka

Chairperson,Press Council of India

For readers, also of interest: 'Investigate' the police at your own peril, a commentary published in The Hoot

NWMI condemns violent abuse of Meena Kandasamy

The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), strongly condemns the violent and sexist abuse unleashed on poet, writer, activist and translator Meena Kandasamy, presumably in response to her posts on Twitter about the beef-eating festival at Osmania University, Hyderabad, on 15 April 2012 and the ensuing clashes between groups of students.

After her comments on Twitter, she was threatened with various forms of violence, including gang rape and acid attacks. Some placed a price on her head. Others threatened her freedom of speech, saying that she would not be allowed to speak anywhere, and called for her prosecution for allegedly outraging religious feelings under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code. In over a hundred tweets, she was called a whore, characterless, a terrorist and a bitch. One of the most objectionable comments was that she should be raped on live television, this barbaric idea was put out by one Siddharth Shankar who followed it up with more vicious filth.

Meena Kandasamy has become the target of a vicious abuse campaign on twitter and other sites for her support to the festival during which she and other students had to be escorted to a safe place under police escort. Protestors even stoned the van they were travelling in. It is highly condemnable that her support of a food festival should lead to demands for her prosecution and a bounty on her head.

As a professional network of women journalists, the NWMI is firmly committed to freedom of expression and, indeed, supports ongoing efforts to ensure that the Internet remains a free space and is not subjected to censorship. However, freedom comes with responsibility and all those who value free speech must, at the very least, censure hate speech.

Everyone in a democracy has a right to hold and express their opinions on current events and issues. Similarly, everyone has a right to disagree with and argue against the opinions of others. Debate - not abuse and threats - is the democratic means to deal with conflicting views on contentious topics: in this case, the right to choose what to eat and not eat.

It appears that Meena Kandasamy has been singled out for abuse at least partly because she is a bold and outspoken woman who expresses her opinions freely in the public sphere. The fact that she is a Dalit, especially one whose work focuses on caste annihilation, linguistic identity and feminism, clearly makes her even more of a target.

We call upon all those who value freedom of expression to join us in condemning the online attack on Meena Kandasamy and to explore ways to ensure that everyone has a right to express their opinion - on the Internet as well as elsewhere - without being subjected to hateful abuse.

Lakbima cartoon: a new low for misogyny in the print media

We, the undersigned, condemn the sexist portrayal of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a cartoon by Hasantha Wijenayake published in Lakbima on September 9, 2012.


We are deeply disturbed by the summary expulsion of school sports teams from Sri Lanka which had arrived in Tamil Nadu to engage in friendly tournaments, and the life-threatening attacks on Sri Lankan pilgrims visiting a place of worship at Vailankanni.

However, we do not believe that the vulgar depictions in the cartoon constitute a legitimate way to criticise such politically opportunistic acts. We firmly believe that such issues must be handled by the media with a certain level of dignity and professionalism. With this cartoon, Lakbima has reached a new low point for misogyny in the print media.

Even as we are against the gender politics of the cartoon, we are also against politics that resort to demonising and punishing ordinary citizens for the crimes of their governments. We also believe that political differences cannot possibly justify the misogyny and sexism evident in that cartoon.

According to the Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), at least 39 journalists and media workers have been killed by the ruling UPFA government under Mahinda Rajapakse. The rape, torture and subsequent murder of Tamil TV journalist Isaipriya by the Sri Lankan military forces was exposed in Channel 4's documentary Killing fields. Against this background of intolerance and persecution, we are appalled to note that freedom of expression appears to mean that a female politician can be portrayed in a crass and tasteless manner.

We are glad to know that individuals and organisations in Sri Lanka are also critical of the cartoon and have registered their objections. We add our voices to theirs.

Signed:

Laxmi Murthy (Bangalore)
Ammu Joseph (Bangalore)
Pushpa Achanta (Bangalore)
Sameera Khan (Mumbai)
Meena Menon (Mumbai)
Kamayani Bali Mahabal (Mumbai)
Satyavathi Kondaveeti (Hyderabad)
R Akhileshwari (Hyderabad)
Jency Samuel (Chennai)
Rajashri Dasgupta (Kolkata)

[All journalists and members of the Network of Women in Media, India]

and

Dilrukshi Handunnetti (Colombo)
Sanjana Hattotuwa (Colombo)
Sharmini Boyle (Colombo)
Hana Ibrahim (Colombo)

Minister’s anti-women stance condemned

February 12, 2013: Members of the Kerala Chapter of the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), condemn Union Cabinet Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi’s deplorable behaviour and his aggressive reaction to a young woman journalist working for Mathrubhumi TV Channel.

The minister’s insinuations show that he thinks the whole incident is a joke. When asked about his response to recent developments in the Suryanelli rape case in which P J Kurien’s name has resurfaced, the minister questioned the journalists’ motives and went on to make uncalled for remarks about her morals and integrity.

Such conduct is not expected from a senior minister and it shows his lack of the sensitivity required in a leader of his stature. His posture, body language and statements were unbecoming of a man of his experience in public life as a representative of the people. A clip of the incident is available here.

We believe that if journalists who have to ask questions and get reactions to current affairs and news happening 24x7 are treated thus, then the common woman has no chance at all.

About 25 women media professionals were present at the meeting and plan to mail a petition on this issue to the president of India, the prime minister, the Congress president, as well as the chief minister of Kerala.

Sandhya Bala Suma, State Co-ordinator, NWM-Kerala 

See: Minister apologises, February 14, 2013

“The media must be part of the solution, not the problem”

The Network of Women in Media, India, celebrating its 10th anniversary at a national convention attended by about 80 media women from across the country, discussed various aspects of the theme, ‘Women, Violence and the Media,’ over a weekend meeting in Mumbai (1-3 February 2013). A public meeting on 2 February 2013 focussed on how the news media can better report issues of women, violence and public space. 

Taking note of the public outrage over, and media coverage of, the recent brutal gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi, the NWMI expresses grave concern over the increasing incidence of violence against girls and women all across India, in public as well as private spaces.  As women journalists we believe it is important to recognise that the Delhi case exposed only the tip of the iceberg of gender violence, much of which does not receive adequate media or public attention.

We appreciate the fact that the media responded to the gang-rape in Delhi and the public outcry that followed with prominent and largely sympathetic coverage. 

However, we recognise that media coverage is often a double-edged sword.  On the positive side, it increases public awareness about such crimes and puts pressure on the authorities to take action. On the negative side, incessant coverage of certain cases, particularly sensationalised cases of sexual violence, can obscure the widespread prevalence of many different forms of daily violence against women all over the country.  Unless it is balanced and sensitively handled, such coverage can also be voyeuristic and titillating;  it can increase the sense of vulnerability and insecurity among girls and women (including survivors of such violence), and lead to restrictions on their freedom and rights. 

In addition, some of the media coverage in the immediate aftermath of the gang-rape in Delhi provoked and amplified strident calls for harsher punishments for such crimes – capital punishment, chemical castration, and so on – despite the fact that most women’s groups with long experience in dealing with gender violence have consistently cautioned against such kneejerk reactions that could worsen the situation.

We recall the thousands of girls and women all over the country who have been physically, sexually, psychologically abused and injured or killed. As journalists we urge the media to pay due attention to sexual violence perpetrated on Dalits and Adivasis, as well as women in militarised zones, where security forces are granted impunity by law.

We renew our commitment to working towards ensuring that media coverage of violence against women is more sensitive and nuanced, enabling victims and survivors to get justice in an environment where women feel safe and can exercise their right to equal citizenship. 

Eclipsing women’s rights: sexual harassment at Sun TV -- statements of NWMI, IFJ and Sun TV

On March 27, Chennai-based Sun TV news anchor S Akila was suspended when she complained of sexual harassment. NWMI has called for Akila’s immediate reinstatement, an independent inquiry into the case and the setting up of formal mechanisms to redress sexual harassment at Sun TV. The International Federation of Journalists also bats for Akila. Read the statements by NWMI and IFJ, the response from Sun TV’s legal counsel -- and NWMI's reply.

NWMI's statement, March 28, 2013
 
The Network of Women in Media, India, an independent forum of media professionals across the country, condemns the continued victimisation of a complainant of sexual harassment, and demands her immediate reinstatement. We also demand an independent inquiry into the case and the setting up –as required by law– of formal mechanisms to redress sexual harassment at the Chennai-based Sun TV.
 
S Akila joined Sun TV Chennai in December 2011 as a news anchor/news producer. Ever since she joined, V Raja, the Chief Editor, and Vetrivendhan, the Reporters’ Co-ordinator, indicated that the confirmation of her job and subsequent pay rise depended on the ‘compromises’ she was willing to make. This was apparently not the first time they had made such demands, but due to the hostile and intimidating atmosphere at the office, few women had been able to resist. As a result of her refusal to concede to their demands of sexual favours in return for job security and pay hikes, her confirmation remained pending even after completing the six-month probationary period.
Read more...
 
 
Reply by Sun TV's legal counsel, March 28, 2013
 
Madam,
At the outset, I submit that the allegations in the press statement against the company are totally false and baseless. The press statement has been issued unilaterally without proper verification of facts and without even ascertaining the truthness from us.
Read more...
 
 
NWMI's reply to Sun TV's legal counsel, March 30, 2013
 
This is in response to the e-mail dated 28.03.2013 sent to us by Mr J Ravindran, counsel for Sun TV, in which he claims that the allegations against the company in our press statement, Eclipsing Women’s Rights: Sexual Harassment at Sun TV – NWMI demands immediate reinstatement of Woman Journalist dated 28.30.13, are “totally false and baseless”.
 
We would like to bring to your notice the following:
1. The “Code of Conduct” of the Company demands “Strict compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. The Board and the senior management are expected to comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations in letter and spirit.” However, Sun TV Ltd. appears to have blatantly flouted the orders of the highest court of the land, namely the “Vishaka Guidelines against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Guidelines and norms laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Vishaka and Ors Vs. State of Rajasthan and Others (JT 1997 (7) SC 384) (hereinafter the ‘Vishaka Guidelines’).
Read more...
 
International Federation of Journalists' statement, April 4, 2013
 
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins partners and affiliates in demanding justice and fair treatment for S Akila, a journalist placed under suspension by the Sun TV news channel based in the southern Indian city of Chennai, after she filed sexual harassment complaints against two of her seniors in the organisation. 
Read more...

NWMI statement on harassment and sensational, misleading reporting by TV channels

Late evening on April 12, 2013, a group of students from Nalsar Law University went to the Rain Club located in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, for what was meant to be a farewell party for the graduating seniors.

When they stepped out of the club around 10.30 pm to wait for their cab, one of the women students spotted someone taking their pictures with a mobile phone. She objected and demanded to see the mobile. The mobile turned out to be a dummy, without a card in it. When she further objected and demanded that the phone with which photos were taken be handed over, other media cameramen who were present began to film the altercation.

The students were outraged at this invasion of their privacy and the callous response of media cameramen who continued the harassment by following them to the car and persisting in filming them even as they were vehemently protesting this invasion.

The next morning several Telugu channels began showing the footage. Some websites also put up the footage. TV9, ABN Andhra Jyoti, Sakshi TV, Studio N, NTV, IdlyTV, News 24 and the following links which were still active till April 14, 2013 carried the footage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w9ZkMy0VqU 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBHNNQW4kck http://www.istream.com/news/watch/343985/Drunk-girls%E2%80%93drama-on-streets-of\-Hyderabad 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WcZh0vlqDM

A detailed report of the incident is already on the media watch website thehoot.org  

The online petition drafted by the victims is available at www.change.org 

The incident represents blatant sexual harassment of women in a public place, criminal intimidation of the women with threat of public defamation through media. The anchors of the channels repeatedly referred to the women as punch drunk, half naked, and nude, when the women students were dressed in strapless evening wear. One of the female anchors referred to their attire as "creepily offensive short clothes." They also claimed that they were dancing in the club although the entire story was played out on the street and not inside the club. The media persons were not present inside the club. To make matters worse, CVR News put together several clips of provocative dancing from various sources, implying that the present incident was somehow connected to those.

Significantly, while only a couple of channels were present outside the club and were involved in the incident, the story was generously shared with many other channels and web sites. All the channels replayed the footage provided by the offending channels without providing any opportunity for the victims of this coverage to respond or give their side of the story.

The channels also were assuming the tone of moral police, claiming that the students were “leaving Indian traditions in tatters by their dressing and behaviour". The anchors of the channels took on the role of moral police by commenting on the young girls' clothing, even as the channels' staple fare for advertising revenue on their news bulletins comprises song and dance sequences from films and film events featuring skimpily clad women doing vulgar dances to vulgar lyrics. The reporters and anchors held forth on excessive freedom for women and its “devastating” effects on society.

The channels also falsely claimed that the students' behaviour was condemned by women's organizations even though they only showed the statements of two little-known local politicians, thereby misleading public opinion.

This is a clear case of media grossly interfering in the privacy of individuals by photographing/filming people without their permission in a public place. When the students objected to the intrusion of their privacy, the media aggressively continued to shoot them and followed them with provocative words.

This appears to be in violation of items 4, 6, 1, and 2 of the News Broadcasters' Association's Code of Ethics for programming and also appears to be in violation of the programming code prescribed under the Cable Networks Regulation Act.

As media professionals who believe the news media have a responsibility to conduct themselves in accordance with the laws of the land and the ethics and standards of the profession, we are appalled at this misbehaviour by certain television channels.

We request you to call for the entire footage in possession of the channels and examine it as the voices of the cameramen and other men present seem to have been removed.

We request you to strongly censure the channels and websites for manufacturing a misleading and defamatory story by intruding into the privacy of the girls and publicly harassing and intimidating them.

We also request you to ensure that the channels involved in this misdemeanour are fined, made to apologize to the victims, and to carry the apology on channels (including their websites, if any) as prominently and as frequently as the coverage given to the incident.

We firmly believe that, without exemplary punishment, such television channels will continue their vigilante activities, which routinely target women and other vulnerable groups in society.

 

Looking forward to an early and appropriate response from you,

 

Signed, on behalf of the Network of Women in Media, India (www.nwmindia.org), by:

 

Pushpa Achanta, Bangalore
Gita Aravamudan, Bangalore
Neela Badami, Bangalore
Anita Cheria, Bangalore
Aditi De, Bangalore
Ammu Joseph, Bangalore
Revathi Siva Kumar, Bangalore
Laxmi Murthy, Bangalore
Susheela Nair, Bangalore
Kavitha Muralidharan, Chennai
Kavin Malar, Chennai
Lakshmy Venkiteswaran, Chennai
R Akhileshwari, Hyderabad
Lalita Iyer, Hyderabad
Manjari Kadiyala, Hyderabad
Satyavati Kondaveeti, Hyderabad
Padmaja Shaw, Hyderabad
Ranjita Biswas, Kolkata
Rajashri Dasgupta, Kolkata
Manjira Majumdar, Kolkata
Linda Chhakchhuak, Mizoram
Rupa Chinai, Mumbai
Ramlath Kavil, Mumbai
Sameera Khan, Mumbai
Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai
Meena Menon, Mumbai
Jyoti Punwani, Mumbai
Geeta Seshu, Mumbai
Kalpana Sharma, Mumbai
Sandhya Srinivasan, Mumbai
Sandhya Taksale, Pune
Vanaja C, Hyderabad
Amita Talwar

 

April 18, 2013

NWMI protests CNN show on sexual harassment

NWMI wrote to the the News Broadcasting Standards Authority protesting a CNN ‘Face the nation’ programme on sexual harassment. ‘Phaneesh Murthy case: is sexual harassment in workplace a double-edged sword?’ was telecast on CNN-IBN on May 22, 2013. 

Despite clear rules and regulations regarding issues related to offences concerning women, in accordance with which survivors of sexual harassment, molestation and rape enjoy protection of their identity, the name of one such survivor was flashed when revealing the details of her case on the programme.

Moreover, misleading information on her case was given on the programme, giving the impression that the complaint was false and without substance. The programme claimed that the FIR related to the case had been quashed, when the contrary is true. This was not only unfair to viewers, but has ended up causing the woman in question immense trauma.

Note: NWMI's letter to the NBSA and a letter of complaint regarding another episode of 'Face the nation' are available by request to editors@nwmindia.org

NWMI condemns insensitive media coverage of gang rape victim in West Bengal

June 14, 2013

The Network of Women in Media, India, an independent forum of media professionals across the country, condemns the recent insensitive media representation of the 20-year-old college student at Barasat, West Bengal, who was recently gang-raped and violently murdered. In papers such as The Telegraph, Protidin and several other newspapers/channels, the victim’s name and her family’s have been freely used. More shockingly, Bangla newspaper Aajkaal  printed not only the victim's name but also her photo on its front page.

The victim, a 20-year-old college girl, was gangraped and murdered on her way home from college on Friday, June 7, 2013 around 2 pm. Aajkaal printed her photo with related news on June 9.

Publishing her name is a clear violation of the Supreme Court’s order that the identity of a rape victim cannot be disclosed. Such disclosure is prohibited under Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, as well as the Norms of Journalistic Conduct issued by the Press Council of India (2010). Under the IPC, revealing the identity of a rape victim is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 228 (A to D) of the Indian Penal Code prohibits the disclosure not only of the victim’s name but also of facts that could lead to the identification of the victim, such as the victim's place of residence, family or friends, university, or work details. This covers victims who are dead, minors and or have “unstable minds”. Even if the name is to be disclosed for welfare or legal reasons, this must be done in writing, only to the appropriate government authority, which does not include the media.

The reasoning for not disclosing the name of a rape victim is that such disclosure would invade the privacy of the victim and may render her open to further harassment and/or indignity. Revealing the identity of a rape victim could also make her (or her family in case she has not survived) vulnerable to pressure to drop the case.

In a context where the incidence of violence against women in West Bengal (and elsewhere) is rising, it is of grave concern that the media is flouting the law of the land as well as norms of ethics laid down by the PCI.

 

We demand:

1. Immediate pixellation and removal of all identifiers of the rape victim on online portals and the newspapers’ websites.
2. Issuance of a written apology in the newspapers, including their websites.
3. Institution of mechanisms for ensuring increased gender sensitivity while reporting cases of sexual violence. These measures could include, among others: on-the-job training, workshops, and evolving in-house norms for covering gender-based violence.

 

Sincerely,

 

Manjira Majumdar, Kolkata
Rajashri Dasgupta, Kolkata
Ranjita Biswas, Kolkata
Anju Munshi, Kolkata
Rina Mukherji, Kolkata
Ammu Joseph, Bangalore
Laxmi Murthy, Bangalore
Gita Aravamudan, Bangalore
Kavin Malar, Chennai
Kavitha Muralidharan, Chennai
Nithila Kanagasabai, Chennai
Jency Samuel, Chennai
R Akhileshwari, Hyderabad
Sandhya Srinivasan, Mumbai
Jyoti Punwani, Mumbai
Geeta Seshu, Mumbai
Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai
Kalpana Sharma, Mumbai
Sandhya Taksale, Pune
Linda Chhakchhuak, Shillong
[On behalf of the Network of Women in Media, India]

 

Aaj Kaal apologises

NWMI complains to Tamil Nadu CM about harassment of Chennai based journalist

 

Kavin Malar, a Chennai based journalist, faced online harassment from Kishore K Swamy, a self-proclaimed AIADMK supporter, despite her police complaint. NWMI formally requested the Tamil Nadu CM to intervene urgently and act against the offender, through the following letter.


To
Ms J Jayalalithaa
Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Chief Minister's Special Cell
Secretariat
Chennai 600 009
July 2, 2013


                                Sub: Harassment of woman journalist

Madam,

The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), is a forum for women media professionals across the country, working for gender equality and justice within the media and society. It is with deep anguish that we bring to your notice a violation of privacy and harassment that is being repeatedly caused to a member of our network in your state. Kavin Malar, a Chennai based journalist, has been facing online harassment for over a month now from one Mr Kishore K Swamy, a self-proclaimed AIADMK supporter. Mr Kishore K Swamy has been repeatedly posting abusive messages on Facebook targeting Kavin Malar’s professional work and her personal character, and wilfully attempting to malign her reputation in society as well as in the media. The allegations, besides being completely baseless, are also a gross violation of privacy and human dignity.

 

We are also being told that Mr Swamy has been repeatedly and habitually targeting other women journalists, by indulging in character assassination. This kind of behaviour is not merely disturbing, but also intimidating. It creates a hostile environment for working women, which is violative of women’s right to a safe workplace, and also prohibited by the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

 

Kavin Malar has approached the police to fight the harassment. However, her complaint to the commissioner of police, Chennai, on May 13 has not been of much avail. The cyber crime cell has not taken any action on the complaint beyond calling her for an enquiry. Meanwhile, the harassment continues. Attached please find the screenshots of abusive messages posted by Mr Swamy, copies of which have been made available to the cyber crime department. We are aware of the steps taken by your government to curb crimes against women and hope you will take note of this case with the urgency it deserves. We urge you to personally intervene and take action against Mr Kishore K Swamy for his misdeeds. We believe such a move will help create a more agreeable atmosphere for women journalists in Tamil Nadu.

 

With kind regards and thanks in advance for your intervention in this case,
 

Yours sincerely,
Laxmi Murthy, Bangalore
[on behalf of NWMI]

 

Endorsed by:
1. Anita Cheria, Bangalore
2. Melanie P. Kumar, Bangalore
3. Ammu Joseph, Bangalore
4. Gita Aravamudan, Bangalore
5. Satarupa Bhattacharya, Bangalore
6. Meera K, Bangalore
7.Susheela Nair, Bangalore
8.Pushpa Achanta, Bangalore
9.Binita Parikh, Ahmedabad
10.Tanushree Gangopadhyay, Ahmedabad
11.Lakshmy Venkiteswaran, Chennai
12.Nithya Caleb, Chennai
13. Kavitha Muralidharan, Chennai
14. Nithila Kanagasabai, Chennai
15. Jency Samuel, Chennai
16. Ranjitha Gunasekaran, Chennai
17. Shobha Warrier, Chennai
18. Teresa Rehman, Guwahati
19. Satyavati Kondaveeti, Hyderabad
20. Manjari Kadiyala, Hyderabad
21. Akhileshwari Ramagoud, Hyderabad
22. Vanaja C, Hyderabad
23. Anju Munshi, Kolkata
24. Rina Mukherji, Kolkata
25. Manjira Majumdar, Kolkata
26. Ranjita Biswas, Kolkata
27. Rajashri Dasgupta, Kolkata
28. Ananya C Chakraborti, Kolkata
29. Linda Chhakchhuak, Mizoram
30. Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai
31. Jyoti Punwani, Mumbai
32. Geeta Seshu, Mumbai
33. Freny Manecksha, Mumbai
34. Sandhya Srinivasan, Mumbai
35. Meena Menon, Mumbai
36. Kalpana Sharma, Mumbai
37. Ramlath Kavil, Mumbai
38. Neha Dixit, New Delhi
39. Shahina KK, New Delhi
40. Sonal Kellogg, New Delhi

NWMI submission to Press Council committee inquiring into the rape of woman journalist

 

NWM, Mumbai, facilitated a discussion amongst women journalists as well as male and female photojournalists in Mumbai on August 24, 2013. The meeting discussed issues related to the safety of journalists, the difficulties faced by journalists, especially freelancers, in access and permissions for stories and assignments, the ethical transgressions in coverage of sensitive issues and the need for greater gender sensitisation and training of media professionals on gender-sensitive reporting. The meeting identified specific issues that cause particular concern. 

 

1. Media coverage of gender issues, in particular sexual assault/rape

There is an urgent need for print, television and online media personnel including reporters, sub-editors, photographers, camera-persons, senior editors and photo editors to undergo training as well as refresher courses in how the media should handle the coverage of crimes against women, more specifically rape, molestation and violent sexual assault. There are legal and medical issues to comprehend, ethical dilemmas to discuss and an urgent need to understand the larger context of gender and violence. We suggest workshops to be held for media personnel by experts at regular intervals.

 

Several members of the Network of Women in Media, India, are in a position to design and conduct such workshops in different languages and parts of the country.

 

An accessible and publicised mechanism (such as an ombudsperson) to deal with complaints about media coverage should be instituted in every media house, and immediate redress should be provided for violation of media ethics and the laws of the land.

 

2. Safety on the job: The need for training modules for journalists/photographers

It is felt that there is a dire lack of safety training for journalists and for providing adequate preparation for various tasks. Media houses and media organisations need to take responsibility for safety training, not just for reporting in conflict areas, but also regular day-to-day reporting in urban and/or rural settings. This is particularly necessary while covering crowds of various kinds (mobs, protesters, participants in religious festivals/processions, political rallies/processions, etc.) and civil strife (including riots, arson and looting, etc.).This training should cover male and female journalists and photographers, full-time, part-time, interns as well as regular stringers and freelancers.

 

Training should cover ways to keep yourself safe, protect your sources (if it is a particularly sensitive story), better ways of identification (press cards etc, even for interns and freelancers), insurance, use of mobile and internet technology, GPS systems, emergency speed-dial telephone numbers, transport facilities, information on how to access helplines, police, hospitals and medical personnel.

 

Several international media organisations (such as the International News Safety Institute, the International Federation of Journalists, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists and Reporters Sans Frontieres, the Dart Centre for Journalists and Trauma) have resources that can be borrowed, modified as required to accommodate local conditions and realities, and used in such training programmes.

 

3. Harassment by policemen and private security personnel
Photographers and camerapersons, in particular, are on the frontlines of news reportage because they need to be on the spot to get visuals, often in the thick of the action, and as a result often work under immense pressure. One of the most common problems photographers face is access to spaces and sites for shooting. Though there is no law to prevent media persons from shooting on the street or in public spaces (except in notified areas), police often harass them. They can be stopped and asked for official permissions and it is often very difficult or impossible to obtain such permissions. They also face harassment from private security guards, who are now found everywhere. Women photographers face other kinds of harassment and assault when going into crowds or even when venturing into dangerous territory. If the police were more approachable and understood a media person’s job, then media personnel could possibly approach them more confidently for help when needed.

 

It would be good if the Press Council and/or other media organisations could liaise with police departments and security firms and propose workshops where police/security and media personnel could interact and learn from each other about their respective rights and duties.

 

4. Gender sensitisation within media organisations
Media organisations need to have regular and sustained gender sensitisation workshops for their staff, including interns, trainees, new entrants, sub-editors and photographers at various levels, mid-career journalists, and senior editors, too. Complaints mechanisms to tackle grievances related to gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, etc., must be put in place. With the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act and Rules now in place, this is in any case now legally mandated as well.

 

Several members of the Network of Women in Media, India, are in a position to design and conduct such workshops in different languages and parts of the country.

 

Again, there are both domestic and international resources that can be drawn upon for such workshops.

 

5. Voluntary mentorship programme
There is clearly a great need for mentoring of younger journalists -- reporters, sub-editors and photographers -- by older journalists/photographers in newsrooms and media houses. It would be ideal if Press Council or/and media organisations can formulate a scheme for such a programme.

 

Several international and, more recently, Indian organisations have expertise and experience in mentoring programmes/workshops, which can be drawn upon and modified as necessary.
 

Network of Women in Media-Mumbai and Network of Women in Media, India

NWMI condemns gang rape of woman journalist in Mumbai and demands safety for women media professionals

 

The Network of Women in Media, India, (NWMI) is shocked and angry at the alleged gangrape of a woman journalist and the assault on her male colleague in the evening of August 22, 2013 while they were on assignment for a print publication near the Shakti Mills compound at Mahalaxmi in Central Mumbai.

 

The two journalists were accosted and intimidated by a few people who demanded to see their authorisation for shooting in the area. They took the woman journalist aside on the pretext of securing the authorisation for her, tied up her colleague and allegedly gangraped her. In all, five persons perpetrated the attack, according to preliminary reports. The woman journalist showed great presence of mind in freeing herself and also managed to free her colleague and the two then sought to file a complaint with the N M Joshi Marg police station. They are being treated at Jaslok Hospital now for multiple injuries.

 

The incident is a grim reminder of the deteriorating state of safety for women across the country, as well as the lack of security for mediaprofessionals, especially women media professionals. The harassment of women professionals in the media is on the rise and, along with workplace related harassment, journalists also have had to contend with anti-women prejudices and biased reactions from employers as well as law enforcement officers.

 

The Network of Women in Media, India extends all support and solidarity to the journalist who were assaulted. The NWMI also cautions its colleagues in the media to report on the incident responsibly and sensitively, without providing unnecessary details that provide markers to the identity of the journalists involved.

 

The NWMI demands that the police conduct a speedy investigation into the gangrape and assault and ensure that justice is delivered without delay. The NWMI also urges media employers to desist from introducing restrictions on work assignments for women journalists and instead ensure the safety and security of their staff.

 

Geeta Seshu, Mumbai
Jyoti Punwani, Mumbai
Kalpana Sharma, Mumbai
Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai
Madhavi Rajadhyaksha, Mumbai
Meena Menon, Mumbai/Islamabad
Ramlath Kavil, Mumbai
Sameera Khan, Mumbai
Sandhya Srinivasan, Mumbai
Sharmila Joshi, Mumbai
Binita Parikh, Ahmedabad
Rupa Mehta, Ahmedabad
Tanushree Gangopadhyay, Ahmedabad
Ammu Joseph, Bangalore
Gita Aravamudan, Bangalore
Laxmi Murthy, Bangalore
Pushpa Achanta, Bangalore
Shree DN, Bangalore
Susheela Nair, Bangalore
Kavin Malar, Chennai
Kavitha Muralidharan, Chennai
Lakshmy Venkiteswaran, Chennai
Nithila Kanagasabai, Chennai
Aditi Bhaduri, Delhi/Kolkata
Teresa Rehman, Guwahati
Padmaja Shaw, Hyderabad
R Akhileshwari, Hyderabad
Satyavati Kondaveeti, Hyderabad
Renu Ramanath, Kochi
Rajashri Dasgupta, Kolkata
Ranjita Biswas, Kolkata
Rina Mukherjee, Kolkata
Aaparna Degaonkar, Pune
Jayashree Bokil, Pune
Kaumudi, Pune
Manaswini Prabhune, Pune
Megha Shimpi, Pune
Namrata Phadnis, Pune
Prachi Bari, Pune
Sandhya Taksale, Pune
Savita Gopalan, Pune
Shubhada Chandrachud, Pune
Sushma Neharkar, Pune
Swati Jarande, Pune
K A Beena, Thiruvananthapuram

 

and others

 

on behalf of
Network of Women in Media, India

Atonement is insufficient: The rule of law must prevail

 

“NWMI demands institutional redress of sexual harassment and assault”

Recent developments at the weekly news magazine Tehelka demonstrate that media houses have a long way to go in ensuring safety for women media professionals.

A journalist working with Tehelka revealed that she was sexually assaulted by the editor, Tarun Tejpal, on two occasions on 7 and 8 November 2013. The repeated harassment and assault over two days took place during Tehelka’s “Think” festival in Goa where the journalist was carrying out her professional duties. While Tarun Tejpal is purportedly “atoning” for what he terms “an error of judgement” by stepping down as editor for six months, we believe that this is simply not enough. Institutional mechanisms must be set in place to investigate the complaint of sexual assault, prosecute the perpetrator, and deal with future cases.

Sexual harassment of women journalists at the workplace is not new. The NWMI has issued several statements over the years in response to specific cases but also calling upon all media houses to comply with the law, which has been in existence since the Vishaka Guidelines were issued by the Supreme Court of India in 1997. There has been plenty of time and opportunity for media houses to establish the necessary mechanisms, as required by the law.

More recently, the Sexual Harassment at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, which was signed into law on 22 April, is a significant civil remedy that recognises women’s right to a safe work environment free of sexual harassment. The onus is on the employer, who is responsible for ensuring such an environment and is to be held liable in case of any violations. If the complainant wishes to pursue criminal prosecution, the employer is also duty bound to assist her in doing so.

In this case it appears that Tarun Tejpal’s actions go beyond sexual harassment and fall under the definition of sexual assault, according the new Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013.

More and more courageous women are speaking out about sexual harassment at the workplace, by judges, politicians, and senior journalists. It is high time that mechanisms were put in place, as required under the law, to ensure that the rule of law operates and perpetrators are brought to justice. Recent experiences in Sun TV, Doordarshan and All India Radio, to name just a few, revealed that not only private media organisations but even the state/public broadcasters were not compliant with the law.

The NWMI demands that media houses across the country comply with the law by setting up sexual harassment complaints and redressal committees within the workplace that include at least one member external to the organisation with relevant knowledge and experience in dealing with such matters. It should be noted that the internal complaints mechanism is to be set up and its existence made known to all employees irrespective of whether or not a complaint has been made or is anticipated. Compliance with the law is the very least that mediawomen expect of the media which are, after all, supposed to be the watchdogs of society.

While Tarun Tejpal and senior management at Tehelka may prefer to view the matter of sexual assault on a colleague as an “internal” issue to be compensated for with “atonement and penance,” we demand institutional action that will not only ensure justice for the complainant in this particular instance but also lead to real organisational reform that will benefit all employees in the future.

We demand:

- Setting up of a Complaints Committee by all media houses, including Tehelka, to deal with sexual harassment at the workplace
- An independent inquiry into the incident of sexual harassment/assault during the “Think” festival and punishment for the guilty in accordance with the law
- Assistance from the organisation in filing a case under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, should the survivor in this instance wish to initiate criminal proceedings.

We believe the news media, which cover the transgressions of other members/sections of society, have a responsibility to look within, too. At the same time we think it is important for the media to refrain from circulating details that could reveal the survivor’s identity and/or are merely titillating and do not serve any public purpose.

Sincerely,


Ammu Joseph, Bangalore
Laxmi Murthy, Bangalore
Kalpana Sharma, Mumbai
Sameera Khan, Mumbai
Rajashri Dasgupta, Kolkata
Neha Dixit, New Delhi
Kavin Malar, Chennai
Kavitha Muralidharan, Chennai
Satyavati Kondaveeti,Hyderabad
Sandhya Taksale, Pune
Ananya Chakraborti, Kolkata
Gita Aravamudan, Bangalore
Meena Menon, Islamabad
Geeta Seshu, Mumbai
Sandhya Srinivasan, Mumbai
Raksha Kumar, New Delhi
Chitra Narayanan
Prerana Thakurdesai, Mumbai
Vidya Venkat, New Delhi
Kiran Shaheen, New Delhi
Gauri Vij, Mumbai
Aditi Bhaduri, New Delhi
Chitrangada Choudhury, Bhubaneshwar
Nithya Caleb, Chennai
Chitra Ahanthem, Imphal
Melanie P Kumar, Bangalore
Pushpa Achanta, Bangalore
Ranjita Biswas, Kolkata
Praveena Shivram, Chennai
Lakshmy Venkiteswaran, Chennai
Madhavi Rajadhyaksha, Mumbai
Kaumudi Gurjar, Pune
Ramlath Kavil, Mumbai, Berlin
Rina Mukherji, Kolkata
Susheela Nair, Bangalore
Rupa Mehta, Ahmedabad
Bhasha Singh, New Delhi
Nithila Kanagasabai, Chennai
Renu Ramanatha, Kochi
Doris Rao, Mumbai
Jyoti Punwani, Mumbai
Jency Samuel, Chennai
Aheli Moitra, Dimapur
Swapna Majumdar, New Delhi
R Akhileshwari, Hyderabad
Satyavati Kondaveeti, Hyderabad
Revathi Siva Kumar, Bangalore
Manasi Pingle, Bangalore

On behalf of the Network of Women in Media, India

“NWMI demands institutional redress of sexual harassment and assault” Recent developments at the...

On December 16, 2012, the gang-rape of a young woman in a bus in Delhi triggered outrage across the board, putting freedom from rape and sexual assault at the forefront of public debate. Ironically, young lawyer revealed that during those very protests, a retired judge of the highest court of the land had sexually harassed her while she was working with him as an intern, and that she was able to speak about it only 10 months later. On December 16, 2013, women's rights activists across India issued a statement:

The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) is shocked and upset about the reported gang-rape of a woman journalist in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. The journalist was reportedly abducted by three persons after she had visited the Ashtabhuja temple to do a story on historic temples of the Vidyachal region.
The NWMI would like to express support and solidarity to the colleague who suffered abduction and assault in the course of her work. We call upon her employer to extend both moral support and practical assistance, including help in pursuing the legal case, to...

The NWMI has sent strong letters of protest to the Press Council of India and the Editors' Guild of India about two recent articles on the Tehelka case, based on CCTV footage, which disregard the law as well as journalistic ethics.

The NWMI's letters to the Press Council of India and the Editors' Guild of India, and other critiques of recent media coverage of what is being referred to as "The Tarun Tejpal Tapes", have elicited responses from the authors of the controversial articles

Ahmedabad: The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), a national collective of women journalists, which concluded its 11th national meeting on Sunday, 28 September appeals to media establishments across the country to treat freelance journalists, of whom women constitute a large proportion, professionally and fairly.

Dalvi, Editor, Mumbai edition, Awadhnama faces many cases in different Mumbai police stations and threats

The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) strongly condemns the government’s over-zealousness in pursuing and investigating charges of misdoing and misappropriation of funds against journalist-activists Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand.  

The Network of Women in Media India (NWMI) is horrified by the prolonged and traumatic sexual harassment to which the Banda team of Khabar Lahariya, a rural collective of women journalists in Uttar Pradesh, have been subjected over many months.

The Network of Women in Media, India, would like to express solidarity with the brave radio journalists of Roshani, the all-women radio and TV station that was the voice of the city of Kunduz in Afghanistan and was destroyed by the Taliban in the early hours of September 28.

NWMI wrote to India Today questioning the sensationalist headline and content of a recent newsreport on the rape of a girl aboard the Howrah-Amritsar express

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