During the second day of the round table on “Gender Reporting in Urdu Media – Opportunities & Challenges” by the Centre for Women’s Studies and Dept of Journalism and Mass Communication, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), speakers described gender sensitivity as an integral part of journalism and called for media to be inclusive in nature.
Hyderabad: “Gender sensitization of media is the need of the hour. Gender reporting in media does not exist per se. The scenario of Urdu media is no different. We need to change this condition. We only talk about women when some violence takes place against them otherwise they are ignored.” These views were expressed Thursday during the second day of the round table “Gender Reporting in Urdu Media – Opportunities & Challenges” by eminent media personalities in a panel discussion organized online by the Centre for Women’s Studies and Dept of Journalism and Mass Communication, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in collaboration with Population First supported by UNFPA and Norwegian Embassy.
Seema Mustafa, President, Editors Guild of India and Editor in Chief ‘The Citizen’, Naghma Seher, Editor & News Anchor, NDTV, New Delhi, Qurban Ali – Senior Journalist, Mohammad Azam Shahid, Salar, Bangalore and Rasheda Hussain- IRS (Rtd) were the panellists. Prof. S M Rahmatullah, Vice-Chancellor I/c presided over the discussion. Gowhar Geelani, Eminent Journalist, Political Analyst was the moderator.
Seema Mustafa expressed dismay over the state of affairs of present-day media and exhorted it to come out of it as the fourth pillar of democracy. “Contrary to the general impression, Urdu media is prospering,” she claimed.
“Language media is not going to die, she added.
Naghma Saher expressed the need to accommodate women journalists at the decision-making level. “We are promoting gender stereotyping unconsciously in media especially through advertisements. There is a need for sensitivity while reporting women issues,” she said.
Qurban Ali spoke about the commercial value of the Urdu language and identified various opportunities for upcoming journalists.
Mohd. Azam Shahid stressed the need to treat Urdu language as an Indian language by the government.
Rasheda Hussain said concrete steps are required to stop misleading and false news. Newspapers should have content for young people too.
Prof. SM Rahmatullah in his presidential remarks said that “what needs to be addressed is whether media leaders are paying attention to the welfare of the society or are they ignoring it.”
“Similarly in the case of education, we as an authority have to introspect and improve our work so that we can help in building a better society. It is the responsibility of those involved in the media to work towards improving women’s representation. A journalist should provide authentic information only,” he said.
“Work impartially regardless of religion, nationality, language or region,” he added.
Prof. SM Rahmatullah recommended that the news be given space not only on commercial value but also in view of its importance.
Earlier, Dr AL Sharda, Director Population First in her opening remarks described gender sensitivity as an integral part of journalism. “Media should be inclusive in nature,” she said.
Prof. Shahida Murtaza, Director, CWS said that media can play a large role in changing the mindset of the masses. “Visibility and content in the media houses have to be gender sensitized,” she remarked.
Prof. Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, Dean, School of Mass Communication and Journalism delivered the welcome address.
Gowhar Geelani while referring to the women of international reputation in Urdu broadcasting said that the issues raised in the discussion were the need for serious journalism.
The programme was webcast live on IMC, MANUU Youtube channel.