Women’s INK: Reporting from the heartland and the rise of regional news

Richa Anirudh On Rise Of Regional Channels
“For we have wondered why politicians preferred to give English news channels priority. Why Hindi channel anchors have felt that English channel anchors are superior? Regional networks have massive power today and the data is beginning to reflect that.” We need to start understanding that and put that as our lead story.

Meera Reflects On Challenges Of Working In The Hindi Heartland
I have been working in Khabar Lahariya since 2006. We now use video and digital and I also used to cover Bundelkhand as a print journalist earlier. What’s not changed is that I am still the only one. There are challenges for women and separate ones for men. And it’s impact is different.

Meera On Reporting At A Woman In Bundelkhand
We have to cover stories of different political aspects but we seldom can forget it has an impact on us, on our villages and on our families. For me, there are lots of subjects which when we report, we are threatened, or our cameras are taken away or we would get calls late in the night questioning why we reported the way we did.

Smita Prakash On Reporting Posts In Rural India
There are no bathrooms. Where can women go when they are reporting in the heartland of the country? Additionally there is a different challenge reporting in rural stations because in those areas you can only potentially complain to the police. In the urban settings you can at least push your editor to defend your position but it’s harder to do that in regional especially rural reporting tasks because of the distance from the head quarters.

Kadambini Sharma On Women And Journalism and the New Fears & the New Opportunities
I know many women who dont want to be journalists because they don’t want to have fulltime jobs that involve massive travel and day long shifts – Kadambini Sharma, NDTV INDIA

Richa Anirudh On Hindi vs English Media
“Moti hogayi hai aap,” is what female anchors would be told in Hindi newsrooms. “No one cares whether men have white hair, whether they are fat or how their are projected in the media,” says Anirudh. “I remember a woman journalist being called ‘hey woman’ in the newsroom.”

Smita Prakash On Political Stronghold On Regional News
In regional channels the stronghold is apparent. You can clearly see the slants of the politicians who may be influencing or have control over advertising that goes to the regional channels. The nexus between politics and media is hard to crack.

Meera: How We Dress Can Lead To Criticism 
Stop working as a journalist, go home and work there. I have been told this by so many politicians when we are on the field. Additionally we have to wear sarees in the field because people don’t accept us as serious journalists if we are wearing any western outfits.

Smita Prakash
Women journalists get paid less than male counterparts.

I am told ‘it’s dangerous for you to be a journalist.’ I have been told ‘you don’t have a man in your house that you have to work as a journalist.’