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‘Media needs to learn to deal with women’s stories’

By: Lubna Jerar Naqvi

Karachi: Women, who are considered a marginalised part of a patriarchal society, have found a part in people’s mind after their stories hit the news. Having said that, the media, primarily the electronic including social media, still needs to learn a lot on how to treat, project and highlight women related stories.

This was the main focus of a two-day workshop held by Uks – research, resource and publication centre on women and media – in affiliation with CIPE (Centre of International Private Enterprise) on September 14-15 at a local hotel in Karachi.

The workshop entitled “Powerful Women, Powerful Nation” was divided into four sessions spread over two days and was attended by female journalists representing major media organisations.

The two sessions on the second day of the workshop, both moderated by the Director of Uks, Tasneem Ahmar, focused primarily on the distinct lack of the coverage “of success stories of women in the print and electronic media in Pakistan”. Tasneem and the participants shared and discussed various case studies that have been highlighted in the media or by Uks.

The participants hailing from a varied media background, including the radio and Sindhi media, shared their views and experiences as journalists, as well as the stories they had covered or read about during their careers. Suggestions were exchanged on how female oriented stories could be better dealt with, how these stories are projected, how they should be treated and how these professional journalists will apply what they picked at this workshop in their career henceforth.

The two sessions held on September 14, the first day of the workshop dealt with understanding the portrayal of women in Pakistani media and how a journalist can use the social media to his advantage.

Tasneem Ahmar conducted the first session and there was an exchange of ideas and suggestions between the participants on how a woman is projected in the media and how she should be.

This session helped participants to understand the sensitivities on how a certain story should be dealt with and how the use of certain terms while dealing with these stories can project the right or wrong image of the subject of the story.

The second session which was conducted by the Deputy Country Director Hammad Siddiqui made quite an impression on the journalists, some of whom had shied away from the use of social media due to various reasons and inhibitions.

After the session many of the participants vowed to venture into social media, and use it as tool of journalism.

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