‘A chance for women journalists to face challenges’

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CHENNAI, OCTOBER 15: By not resigning, MJ Akbar, Union Minister of State for External Affairs, has given us a chance to face the challenge to strengthen the case against him, said N Ram, Chairman, The Hindu Publishing Group.
He was speaking at a workshop on Sunday, organised by the All India Democratic Women’s Association on the problems and challenges faced by women journalists.
“Journalist organisations should take greater efforts to investigate the allegations [against Akbar], collect evidence of his misconduct and bring it out in public space. Though what he has done is atrocious, the opportunity to meet the challenge head-on should not be passed up,” Ram said.
In many States, there was a threat to the freedom of media and the Hindutva forces were putting pressure on freedom of speech and expression, he said. Violence and attacks on journalists had taken place in various forms. A report on sexual harassment in media should be read by all journalists, he noted.
He urged the organisations representing journalists to discuss the issues and come up with solutions. The #MeToo movement and the subsequent media discussion was just the first step, he said.
Bhasha Singh, a Delhi-based writer and journalist, said the glass ceiling in media had not been broken yet, especially in regional language media where Editors were mostly male.
A woman journalist’s job security was always at risk.
The coming days after the #MeToo movement would be more difficult for women who had spoken up against sexual harassment, she said.
The women had become vulnerable to trolls on social media, she added.
Many media organisations had not constituted an internal complaints committee despite it being mandated by the Supreme Court, she pointed out.
(Courtesy: The Hindu)