Hyderabad: Media institutions pay less attention towards the issues of minorities, backward classes and women. As a result their problems remain as they are. Negative reporting is done regarding the issues related to Muslims and issues such as triple talaq are exaggerated and sensationalized. These views were expressed by the participants of a session of workshop entitled “Covering Marginality and Minorities’ chaired by Mr. Amer Ali Khan news editor Siasat. The participants further said unless equal treatment is meted out towards them on institutional level, it is impossible to solve their problems.
Addressing on the occasion Mr. Amer Ali Khan, news editor Siasat, said that the basic reason behind plenty of negative reports regarding Muslims is the ideology; majority of the media organisations are run by the persons who do not have thorough knowledge of the issue. He said, giving space to the issues of minorities, backward classes and other marginalised communities without knowing about their issues, is sometimes damaging to the organisations and to the communities as well.
Besides Mr. Amer Ali Khan, the session was attended by Mr. M A Majid, Prof. B Bala Swami, Dr. Srinivas, Mr. C Vanaja, Mrs. Anjali Lal Gupta and Mrs. Rajita.
Dr. P Srinivas told that there is class bias in the selection of news also. Killings of Dalit or marginalised have news value only when 10 to 12 people are killed otherwise it is termed as a routine incident.
Mr. M A Majid said, English and Telugu newspapers usually present Muslim issues in negative way. He cited the debates held on TV channels on triple talaq issue, and asked, ‘is Triple Talaq a problem related to Muslims alone? If so how much percentage of Muslim population is affected by it? He stressed the need to change negative mindset.
Mrs. Vanaja, Anjali Lal Gupta and Rajneeta complained of less coverage given to inequality and women issues in media and stressed on the importance of professional training in journalism to improve the situation.
The two-day workshop titled “MEDIA ETHICS: Professional Preparation and Practice’ was organised by the Department of Communication, Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad (UoH) with support from the U.S. Consulate General, Public Affairs Section, Hyderabad on May 9-10, 2017.
The thematic sessions of the workshop consisted of discussions and reflections among experienced journalists and academics from Hyderabad on the contemporary ethical practices globally and in India.