Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development (HRD) D. Purandeswari has appealed to media houses to act with gender sensitivity while dealing with issues pertaining to women and not to blow issues out of proportion in a bid to enhance their readership/viewership ratings.

“The unhealthy competition prevailing in the media is making the players gravitate towards sensationalising,” she observed while delivering her address at the seminar on ‘Women in media – opportunities, challenges', organised by the Press Academy of Andhra Pradesh in association with Karnataka Media Academy, Kerala Press Academy and the Journalism Department of Sri Padmavathi Mahila Viswa Vidyalayam (SPMVV) here on Wednesday.

Dr. Purandeswari expressed worry over the improper portrayal of women in the media as devious characters or personification of wickedness and said it amounted to ‘denigration of womanhood'. Maintaining that wrong depiction of women could have a great bearing on how she would be perceived by society, she advised the media to act with restraint while using women as a ‘surrogate commodity' in commercial advertising.

Victims of violence

On the travails of women working in media, she said some media houses, instead of working for women's emancipation, were resorting to discrimination against the weaker sex in the form of offering contractual employment and pay disparity. She expressed surprise that women scribes were not getting their due even in the unions and hence were unable to raise their voice.

Referring to the growing incidents of violence against women journalists, she felt the issue had to be discussed threadbare by all stakeholders.

Press Academy Chairpersons — Tirumalagiri Surender (Andhra Pradesh), D.P. Parameshwara (Karnataka), and N.P. Rajendran (Kerala) — and Puducherry Information and Publicity Commissioner A. Selvaraj explained the steps taken in their respective States to encourage talent, train working journalists and reward performers.

Revenue Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy, SPMVV Vice-Chancellor N. Prabhakara Rao, Registrar E. Manju Vani and NALSAR University Registrar M. Sridhar spoke.

  • Unhealthy competition prevailing in the media, says Union Minister
  • Some media houses discriminating against women, she says