NWMI has asked channels not to do live coverage of women making the climb and defer the telecast.

Cover Sabarimala issue responsibly discourage bigotry Women journalists group to media
news Sabarimala Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 14:41

With tensions mounting in Kerala regarding the Sabarimala issue, the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), a women journalists' group has come out with a statement urging all media to cover the controversy responsibly. In a statement addressed to editors of various media houses, NWMI states that the media should refrain from sensational, alarmist and any kind of reporting that escalates communal tension in Kerala.

Stating that Kerala is going through a volatile situation at the moment, NWMI urged that media should understand the gravity of the situation and act wisely. “We should understand that the freedom of the press is relevant only in a state where there is rule of law. Kerala is falling into complete chaos and we have to strive harder to report impartially,” reads the statement.

Criticising Sangh organisations, NWMI stated, “It is very clear that Sangh organisations are trying hard to create law and order issues and deliberately inducing violence.” The statement further said that media has to be “wise and objective” and not get “carried away by divisive narratives”.

NWMI also voiced concern that credibility was taking a back seat because of the attempts made by the media to increase their ratings by the way of adding, “theatric bytes of divisive elements” into their coverage and live news.

One of the major criticism that was raised against the media covering the issue in the areas of Nilakkal, Pamba and the Sannidhanam was the way in which they reported the news of women entering the temple. Many times, women even above 50 years of age have come under the spotlight. The non-stop live reporting has also helped in garnering more unwanted attention on women attempting to enter the temple.

Regarding this, NWMI in their statement has requested all the media documenting the Sabarimala issue to exercise restraint in their live coverage. “The identity of women who intend to climb the hill should not be revealed, unless they say they are absolutely ok with it. If they are making the climb, we request channels to not do a live coverage and delay the telecast once it is assured that the women are safe,” reads the statement.

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