‘Journalists must start respecting the laws around reporting on child rape’

On 12 August 2018, the President of India gave his assent to a law that provides for the death penalty for the rape of girls under 12. The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2018 is the latest in a series of steps taken by the government to counter sexual violence with harsher punishments. This approach has its merits but misses a crucial point, believes Megha Bhatia, the founder of Our Voix, a youth-led organisation that focuses on the prevention of child sexual abuse. “In our country, we are working on stringent punishments after abuse but no work is being done on primary prevention — intervening before the crime takes place,” says Bhatia, who started the organisation in January 2018. Continue reading ‘Journalists must start respecting the laws around reporting on child rape’

‘Digital coverage makes it more likely for people to be heard by those in power’

Helping people get justice when official systems have failed them is the driving force behind his journalism, says Bharat Nayak, the Bangalore-based editorial director of The Logical Indian, a digital media platform that has amassed a wide audience — it has almost 6 million followers on Facebook — for its opinionated, citizen-focused and activist style of reporting. Continue reading ‘Digital coverage makes it more likely for people to be heard by those in power’

I Think: The problem comes when journalists cover one story one day and the next day there is no follow-up

I have noticed rape and harassment stories occupying more space in The Hindu in the past one year. There are reports almost every day.

I read some of them. If there are many, I ignore. Most of them read the same to me, and when I read such reports, I feel sad and angry at the same time. There is nothing much I can do about it. A piece of a common man’s opinion on Indian media’s coverage of rape and sexual violence. Continue reading I Think: The problem comes when journalists cover one story one day and the next day there is no follow-up

दुष्कर्म. And रेप. The paradoxical language of बलात्कार in a Hindi newspaper

There is an international spotlight on India’s ‘rape culture’, and continuing outrage by the Indian media and public about it. And every day, there are stories of rape and sexual violence in the newspapers. But the public reaction is generally one of indifference. Is that because people have seen too many news items about rape? Or is that because of the way in which such news is reported? What impact could the language used to present rape and sexual violence have on the minds of newspaper readers? Continue reading दुष्कर्म. And रेप. The paradoxical language of बलात्कार in a Hindi newspaper

The rapes on Page 9

Few days back, I posted Because I am a student of journalism. Here comes my first story of the project Media Action Against Rape (MAAR) NewsTracker.

Every day there occurs an undetermined number of incidents of rape and sexual violence across India. But only a small proportion of these are reported to the police, and of these, not every incident makes it into the newspapers.

How do we decide which incident should receive news coverage, and how much? Why is that most of the rape and sexual violence reported in the news media end up as one-off stories, not moving beyond the ‘breaking news’ stage? Continue reading The rapes on Page 9