The NWMI Turns 20! Online National Meeting – 2022

As the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) completed 20 years of existence in January 2022 amidst the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India, we wanted to curate a virtual annual meet that doubles up as a celebration. We decided to host an online event in the spirit of annual meetings as we wanted to highlight this important milestone.

In order to effectively engage hundreds of people at a virtual event, we decided to go beyond Zoom meetings that had become the norm during the pandemic. An online conference venue was the answer to effectively showcase our work and also promote better dialogue between the members. During the three days of the meeting, we attempted to recreate the fervour and excitement of panel discussions, chat rooms, workshops and plenaries.

Take a look at the virtual venue below.

Solidarity messages and wishes poured in, including a poem by feminist publishing house Zubaan. Click here for more.

Members put together a video ‘20 Glorious Years’, with founding members reminiscing about the day the Network was set up and members representing all  of the local chapters walking us through the evolution of the network.

Members also spoke about what the Network meant to them in this video – I ❤️ NWMI

Apart from the keynote note address and a host of panel discussions, we wanted to highlight this important milestone by creating  an opportunity for all our members, even the public on certain days, to come together and understand and appreciate all the work the network has been doing for the past couple of years –  a chance to share their stories and also plan for future initiatives.


Day 1, Friday, 18 March 2022

Day 1, Friday, 18 March 2022

Nobel laureate Esther Duflo’s keynote address kicked off NWMI’s 20th anniversary celebrations on 18 March, with NWMI members, social scientists and activists logging in via zoom and visiting our YouTube channel to listen to the economist’s views on the importance of women leaders in the Indian political system. Prof Duflo spoke on women politicians at the local level, drawing upon her own research with women pradhans in West Bengal and Rajasthan.

Read the full summary of the keynote here.

Day 2, Saturday, 19 March 2022

Day 2, Saturday, 19 March 2022

Half The Picture – Why Women Need to Tell Stories and be in Them
A panel discussion was held in association with the Women In Cinema Collective (WCC) to examine the question of why so few women occupy behind-the-scenes positions in Indian cinema across languages and whether an increase in women producers, directors, writers and technicians will lead to an increase in films with important and/or central female characters, gender-sensitive storytelling and themes.

Read the full summary report here.

Performance by Tetseo Sisters
After two days of intense discussions at the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Network of Women in Media, India, the Tetseo Sisters got everyone’s feet tapping and heads swaying on the evening of 19 March through their live performance online. Read more about them here, and watch the performance

Day 3, Sunday, 20 March 2022

The third and final day of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) on 20 March 2022 began with a Mobile Journalism workshop. Facilitated by the Google News Initiative, this workshop had over 50 NWMI members participating from all around the country. This turnout on a Sunday morning was a clear indication of how much skills workshops such as these are appreciated by journalists. 

What the NWMI has been up to in recent times
Later in the day, some of our members walked the virtual audience through our latest projects and initiatives in a session called, ‘Network News – What the NWMI has been up to in recent times’.

You can read about both these sessions here.

Socially relevant journalism: From margins to mainstream
How did so-called ‘soft’ beats like health and environment come to occupy centre stage after being marginalised over the years? This question was discussed in the online panel discussion ‘Socially relevant journalism: From margins to mainstream’ organised on the third day of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Network of Women in Media, India.

Read the summary  report here

They Wrote the Elections
The next panel discussion  explored  the coverage of elections by women journalists and to discuss how gender and caste lens were used for election reporting. How have things changed over the years or have they at all? The panel consisted of veteran journalists as well as new journalists to chart the historical trajectory of this coverage.

Read the full summary of the discussion here.

Networking session
The final day of the anniversary celebrations concluded with a members only  networking session. NWMI chapters introduced their members, and activities. Members also got a chance to discuss future network activities.