What’s it like being a journalist? A reflection into newsrooms by India’s top editors
“I don’ think we are having enough meaningful conversations,” says Shereen Bhan, Managing Director of CNBC TV18. “No one talks about what you went through when you were trying to rise up as a leader.” These and many other headlines emerge from the conversations at Women’s INK – The Editors Summit. A range of key issues took the spotlight from gender biases, lack of a supporting network and the need to talk about real issues when it comes to women in the media.
“When I announced that I was pregnant, I could sense that management signalled ‘you are history'” shared Fatima Karan citing an early instance in her journalistic career.
Amy Kazmin recounted her story in journalism and the moments she felt vulnerable because of a prevailing mood in newsrooms about women leaders. “I was a very hard charging workaholic woman at the age of 44. And then I was pregnant and that was amongst the vulnerable times. Because I thought everyone will say ‘Amy Kazmin was such a good journalist until she had a baby.’ …I was very anxious time for me.”
“The question of gender is about largest diversity in newsrooms,” says Kazmin on the need to having different kind of people in media organisations.
Organisations and editors admit the need to increase female representations, with the assumption that they merit the jobs. At the same time, there’s an emphatic convergence on the thought that women should not be defined as ‘female’ editors or ‘women’ achievers. Shoma Chaudhury, former editor of CatchNews insists that journalists as a community should have certain traits that help improve stories and bring emotional strength and sensibilities to it.
“It’s important to see women right at the top,” says Suhasini Haider of The Hindu. Is the media to blame about the narratives around women? In propagating the biases around women? asked Amrita Tripathi, Editor at Large at SheThePeople. Is there also a difference in gender reporting and representation with respect to Indian media across digital, television and other platforms?