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Working and budding female journos open up on the issue of harassment at work place
The 21st century welcomes the concept of 'equality' between the genders and promote the same. In society and work place, women are capable enough to walk shoulder to shoulder with men. Be it a govt sector, private sector, sports or world of glamour women are performing everywhere.
Women are no leas than the men when it is about profession and media is one such field. Be it print or electronic media, women are everywhere. They are working on desk as well as doing live reporting of stories from ground zero.

Mental and physical harassment of employees at work place has become a serious issue in the country. Men and women both face it. Men mostly face mental harrassment while the women face the both.

Media takes up such issues and build pressure for justice. TV media takes it up in its prime time bulletin while the print media also doesn't forget to make it a front page story. Their only aim in doing so is to help out the victim and get the accused punished.

However, the irony is that in media also women employees are harassed both physically and mentally. Recently a TV news anchor with national Hindi channel attempted suicide as she claimed that she was being harassed mentally by the top executives of the channel, comprising a woman boss also.

The anchor Tanu Sharma in a police complain alleged that her seniors used to compel her to visit corporates and the politicians in the name of making contacts, which she always denied. The case of Sharma is nothing but a bitter reality behind the glitz and glamour of the media, especially the TV media.

One may not have forgotten the case of Tarun Tejpal, the founding editor of news magazine Tehelka, who was accused of sexually molesting his junior female colleague.

There are hundreds of media schools in the country from where every year hundreds of budding female journos pass out, with a dream in their eyes to make a decent career. But the cases like of Tanu Sharma, Tarun Tejpal just sets a bad example in front of them.

We spoke to few working female journalists as well as some students of journalism in a bid to know what they think about the various accusations of harassment the media itself is facing these days.

Palak Sharma, who works with a national news channel, said that if someone thinks that media was not for women, then he or she is wrong.

"Though myself and my knowns have never gone through such trauma, but still I can imagine what Tanu Sharma went through. Even though she has 12 years of experience in media still she was subjected to such a bitter situation. But I totally deny this fact that this industry is not for girls or women. It's some people in the industry who make survival of the women in media industry impossible, its not the industry and we cannot abuse this field just because of some rare incidents that have taken place. For me this industry is as good as any place. I am comfortable enough with my work, seniors and colleagues. And personally I lambaste act of harassment which is deteriorating media's image."

Kanika Mishra, who also works with a news channel, says that harassing a colleague is just an inhuman act.

"Harassing your own colleague is horrible. Media is a prominent medium of mass communication, people who work here are interlinked with each other. How can anyone use coercion on a colleague. This industry is not bad, it accepts you as you are, the talent, the spirit of hardwork and especially your perseverance toward your dream and work, whichever you own, this industry appreciates and respects it."

An RJ with a FM Radio Channel, Shabnam Khan, cautions against generalizing media as a bad industry to worki in. She said that there were some bad people who are polluting the media industry.


"(Media) Industry is not bad, the people are bad enough to pollute it. There are two types of people who dream to be part of this industry. One are hardworking and second are those who opt for short cuts. Hardworking and talented people always prefer to carve out a way for themselves and move upward step by step on the ladder of success but those who seek short cuts despite having no talent, prefer to choose wrong pathway. Log khud se invite karte hai esi cheezon ko aur badnaam karte hai industry ko (People themselves invite such things to happen to them and later on curse the whole industry). I hadn't experienced any such humiliation. I am not denying this fact that harassment doesn't exist here, it does, but one should raised her voice at the initial step only, so that such situation never targets you at all."

Do such incidents not present a bad image of media industry in the eyes of hundreds of media students and forces them to take a second opinion on the choice of their career?

Swati, who has just completed her post graduation in journalism prefers to place her dreams before such hurdles. "You can find such people in every field but highlighting media industry has become a trend now. I have full confidence on my hard work, ability and skills. Why feel traumatized when this kind of incidents happen? One should better raise her voice and oppose it. If just because of such bad incidents one prefers to strangulate her dreams, then media industry will soon begin facing the bankruptcy of eligible and qualified people."

Another Delhi based media student, who has just completed her post graduation in journalism, termed such harassments as another side of the media industry. On the condition of anonymity, she shared a bad experience of her. "I went for an interview in a known newspaper. There the interviewer asked me directly to get ready for 'casting couch' types of things and doing favours to get a fixed position in the industry."

Though her experience was bad but it didn't cause any harm to her passion toward journalism. She learnt to handle things around. "I can't promise those things which are not my cup of tea. And its not only women but men also face the same."


Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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