With increasing assaults on journalists, fake news doing rounds potent than ever, and #Metoo allegations against M J Akbar, Indian media, today, is enmeshed around fear and greed.
South Asian Women in Media (SAWM) and OXFAM, yesterday (Tuesday January 15), held a workshop in Patna discussing the pressing issues pertaining Indian media. The workshop, organised at Hotel Patliputra Ashok, witnessed a gathering of journalists and activists from across the country, and was attended by media students of Patna as well.
Divided in three sections, were discussed freedom of expression and threat to media, the emerging trend of fake media and political aspirations behind those messages, and sexual harassment that women in media industry face every day. The program commenced with noting the late developments, such as the slipping rank of our country in press freedom index, to more journalists losing life to reporting.
“Let us fight for a world of reason… in the name of democracy, let us all unite”, Ms Nivedita Jha started off the programme with a call for everyone to unite in the fight against hate and oppression.
During the first session on freedom of expression, Mr Manoj Mitta discussed the legal barriers and abuse of laws that are took to suppress our voices, whereas Mr Udit Mishra said it is only when community rights do not supercede those of an individual, that freedom of expression can be practiced. In another thought, Miss Swati Bhattacharya called for journalists to form networks, so as to upheld the same. The recent news of the chargesheet on student activist Kanhaiya Kumar also found a mention during the session.
Ms Rupa Jha and Mr Nasiruddin Haider Khan, during the second session, gave a comprehensive study on fake news in India, and asked for the common citizens to use their common sense, to identify and debunk them.
Following lunch, in light of the #Metoo campaign, sexual harassments faced by women journalists were discussed, both, Miss Swati Gautam and Miss Leena wished that Vishakha guidelines be followed and internal complaint committee be set in news agencies, and any corporate for that matter.
On gender discrimination, Dr Kiran defined “sex” to how nature made us, whereas what the society foists on us defines our “gender”. The workshop, after a day of discussion, ended cheerfully with everyone intoning the Internationale ‘We shall overcome: “hum honge kamyab”.
reported by Mahtab Alam