Workshop advocates overhaul in media practices to counter biases


FAFEN-TDEA workshop
  • TDEA-FAFEN workshop urges transformation in media practices to combat journalistic biases against marginalised groups

KARACHI: In a bid to address the persistent challenges faced by women journalists in the media industry, the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability – Free and Fair Election Network (TDEA-FAFEN) recently organised a workshop targeting journalists and journalists’ unions. The central theme of the workshop was to combat the biased representation of women in media.

Beyond discussing media portrayal, the conversation took a crucial turn, delving into the working conditions for women within newsrooms. Participants shed light on the dearth of essential facilities such as daycares, separate bathrooms, and prayer areas, highlighting the impact on female journalists, particularly after marriage or having children. Transportation issues for women, further exacerbating the hurdles they face in sustaining their careers, were also addressed.

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Representatives from prominent journalism unions and members of press clubs from various cities, were present. Notable figures from mainstream media houses also participated in the workshop.

A consensus emerged among the attendees, emphasising the leading role of mainstream media houses in instigating positive changes. Recommendations included a call to reduce political influence on news organisations to mitigate bias against women, minorities, and disabled persons, as well as to discourage sectarian and ethnic biases.

Some participants underscored the need to involve media house owners in such workshops, stressing that they control the financial resources necessary for offering facilities that could help retain female employees and reduce turnover.

Addressing the gathering, the CEO of TDEA-FAFEN highlighted the importance of inviting human rights organisations to provide their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for women working in the media. This multi-faceted approach aims to foster a more inclusive and supportive environment within the media industry.

TDEA-FAFEN’s commitment to fostering a more inclusive media landscape goes beyond a singular event, as evidenced by their ongoing series of workshops. These sessions are strategically designed to address the pervasive issue of misrepresentation of women, shedding light on biases that may exist even without the conscious knowledge of reporters, producers, copywriters, and other key players in the industry.

By creating a platform for open dialogue and introspection, the workshops aim to challenge ingrained stereotypes and unconscious biases that may inadvertently seep into media narratives. Through awareness-building activities and interactive discussions, TDEA-FAFEN endeavours to transform the media industry into a more equitable space, where diverse perspectives are accurately represented and gender biases are systematically dismantled.

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