People trust newspapers not for the news but also for the views that are expressed in it. Many people take these views as a guideline for their own thoughts, making the editors of the newspapers very influential people in their lives. As Population First believes in "influencing the influencers", an editor’s meet, " NIRBHAYA AND AFTER: MEDIA RESPONSE, IMPACT AND CHALLENGES" was organised at Hyderabad on 14th November 2013 for sensitizing the editors and to engage in an open discussion about the gender Issues that are taken up by the media and the way the issues are handled.
It was a day long workshop that was graced by the presence of 25-30 editors, creative directors and media persons from various platforms, including NTV, Andhra Jyothi, The Week, 10 TV, ABN Andhra Jyothi, Saakshi, Zee Telugu, The Hans India, Express, Indian Express, Vanitha, Eenadu and Deccan Chronicle.
As Dr. Sharada (Director, Population First) said, "Population First has been applying the strategy of working very closely with media in Mumbai, since this constitutes a highly potent platform that can be effectively utilized for altering the mindsets and opinions of the masses, as well as the classes. Population First has been at the forefront of promoting the media and creative writing through LAADLI Fellowships and conducting workshops for journalists, It had also instituted media awards to acknowledge gender sensitivie work in the media. She said that in 2013, though a total of 1700 entries were received, it was observed that the writing was sadly lacking in soul and commitment, which has been a major disappointment for the jury.
She also said, "Acts of crime against women are routinely projected by the media in all their gory details, without giving thought to the aspect of sensitizing the public. This, in turn, sends forth a highly erroneous message to the viewers, who are more often than not left aghast at the brutality on display.
Stressing upon the significance of phraseology, she quoted the example of advertisements related to pre-birth sex selection, where everything, including the content was good, but the overall packaging was misleading and insensitive."
"While gender sensitivity is lacking among the general populace, the media needs to adopt a professional attitude, which requires enhancement in specialist capabilities, resulting in the creation of credibility in the media. Photographers and cameramen have to be made aware of the significance of shooting with sensitivity, and all of these are highly doable factors." - Ms. Kalpana Sharma, Columnist, Senior Journalist and Former Deputy Editor of The Hindu
"The media lacks in awareness and seriously need to undergo capacity trainings for generating sensitivity and creativity, for which collaborating with media house managements is important." - Dr. Tripurna Venkataratnam, Chairperson of Mahila Commission, Andhra Pradesh
"Human angle has been found to be missing in media coverage, which is further exacerbating traumatic situations for women." - Ms. K. Satyavati, Executive Director, Bhumika
"The present procedure of media reporting has shaken him up, too. The process of sensitization about social issues has to extend to all in general. The media needs to exert caution in using vocabulary by maintaining the proper contextual terminology." - Mr. Nagesh Kumar, Resident Editor, The Hindu
"Reporting on atrocities should highlight the punishment component in the news for future learning." - Ms. Mrinalini, Writer and Columnist
"While the fact of India’s progress on the economic front is evident for everyone to see with the country rising up several notches in its quest to attain superpower status, in terms of gender-related development index (GDI), the country has been on a downward spiral. This has been visibly manifest in India’s declining sex ratio, plight of women and girls and gross injustice being meted out to one-half of the population, resulting in a state of demeaning and devaluing the very existence of womanhood."- Dr. A. L. Sharada, Director, Population First
"It is absolutely essential to empower women for witnessing the true development of any country, which has never been more truly reflected in present day India. Speaking about the media, I was myself a part of media for nearly five decades, and am well aware of the constraints and hectic schedules under which media persons operated. I therefore thank everybody present who represents the media in this meeting." - Mr. Bobby Sista, Founder & Executive Trustee, Population First