Journalism Training for the Reduction in Domestic Violence (DV)


Introduction

altOn behalf of Kadam Badhaun (Let's Step Forward) Campaign (A collaborative campaign against DV), Sancharika Samuha (SAS) Nepal organized a two-and-a-half-day training for 15 journalists of Banke district from 8-10 September 2014. Senior Journalist Mr Shiva Gaunle was the trainer and Ms Nirmala Sharma, President of SAS, coordinated the programme.

Ms Sharma welcomed the participants. During the introductory session, participants were divided into dyads. Each member of the dyad had to introduce the other member and speak about their partner's affiliated organization, years of experience, reporting experience on domestic violence and training experience on domestic violence.

Day-I

Presentation by Mr Gaunle, he made a presentation on the basic concept of domestic violence and its forms. He also spoke about the major provisions of Domestic Violence (Crime and Punishment) Act. He also briefed about the DV issues being covered in the media (citing example of media clipping of The Himalayan Times). He said that discrimination creates, aggravates violence and repeated discrimination aggravates and perpetuates violence.

Ms Sharma

She discussed about how our culture creates gender-based violence. She asked the participants to share various causes of DV; the participants cited the following as causes of DV: lack of right to property, choice of study, rape by relatives, abortion, mental torture (right to independence), marital rape, child marriage, polygamy, dowry, witchcraft and being single in the case of women. She said that unpaid care provided by women in Nepal and elsewhere was one of the burning issues.  She emphasized that issue identification was very important for reporting. 

Field Visit

Participants were divided into 3 groups. Each group was given a different issue for the story.

Group 1 was sent to Saathi Banke Shelter and the issue assigned to the group was "Data collection of the DV survivors, Nature of DV and Challenges in Collecting Information"alt

Group 2 was sent to Mahila Jagriti Cell. The issue was "Nature of the organization's work, how they provide legal aid to the survivors and challenges in collecting news"

Group 3 was sent to Mahila Prahari Cell (Women's Cell). The issue was "How the women's cell handles the cases, challenges faced by the police and reconciliation of cases".

Day-II

Ms Sharma, recapitulated the day-I sessions.

In the review session, one of the participants, Ms Laxmi Gaudel, defined DV and shared the things that a reporter should keep in mind while reporting on the DV.

Another participant Ms Pabitra Pariyar reviewed the forms of domestic violence and briefed about identification of DV issues. She also summarized the group work of the previous day

Similarly, Mr Gyanu Gautam shared the experience of field visit, the challenges they faced during the data collection and while talking to the survivors in the shelter home. She also spoke about the content of feature writing.

Likewise, Mr Quadari shared the differences between information and news. Mr Bhagat Ram Tharu shared challenges they faced during the field visit.

Mr Gaunle spoke about the ways to search for information. He said that information for any news/report could be acquired through interviews and documents. He further said that both formal and informal sources are important to collect information for news.

Ms Sharma briefing about Domestic Violence Act said, "Domestic Violence means any form of physical, mental, sexual and economic harm perpetrated by a person to a person with whom he/she has a family relationship and the term includes any acts of reprimand or emotional harm." She said that a person suffering from the DV could file altcase at the court, National Women's Commission, local bodies and police stations. She asked reporters to be cautious while collecting information and disseminating news so that the survivors are not further victimized.

Day-III

After the review of previous day's session by Ms Sharma, Mr Gaunle made a presentation on the Code of Ethics of Journalism. He said that while reporting on the DV, the reporter always has to keep in the mind about the consent of the survivor. One should never mention the name of a survivor in news report; and should make the survivors realize that reporters are not members of judicial body. He added that before writing the report, verification of news is very important. He also informed about the cyber crime and notice that has been issued by Nepal Government on cyber crime.

Closing

During closing session Ms Sharma requested the participants to give their opinion on the efficacy of the training. She thanked all the participants and the trainer. She also requested the participating journalists to contribute feature articles and news of domestic violence to Sancharika Feature Service and Sancharika Online. 

 

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Activities

Interaction
In order to complement its initiatives to mainstream women's issues in the media and to initiate fresh discourse on the contemporary issues affecting the lives of women in general and women journalists in particular, SAS organizes interactions frequently. Over the years, SAS has earned a reputation of raising the economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights violation issues and holding interactions among journalists, women's rights activists, government officials, civil society leaders, opinion formers and other stakeholders. It has been interacting with the wider stakeholders on issues like women's representation in the Constituent Assembly (CA), political participation in all spheres of social life and their faire representation in all levels of political parties and on issues like domestic violence, witch accusation, dowry-related violence and other violence against women. During the run-up to elections to the CA, SAS organized many interactions among the stakeholders on its own and in partnership with other like-minded organizations, for instance.

Jingle/PSA
With an objective of informing, educating, and calling for an action on issues of press freedom, women's equal participation in state affairs, to end violence against women, to sensitize the general public on respecting the rights of people, to create public awareness gender equality and on other contemporary issues, SAS produces and broadcasts various jingles and public service announcements (PSAs) on different radio and television stations. While producing such jingles and PSAs, SAS pays attention to the target audience and broadcasts them in major languages of Nepal including Nepali. SAS often produces and broadcasts such informative audio-visuals in collaboration with other like-minded organizations, coalitions and social movements.

Training & Workshop
SAS has been carrying out various programs with an overarching goal of mainstreaming women's issues in the media and supportive activities with an objective of enhancing the capacity of women journalists in order to increase their participation in journalism and retain them in the profession. Right from its inception in 1996, SAS has been organizing various capacity-building programs for women journalists. Among them, Basic Journalism, Feature Writing and Investigative Reporting training and workshops are the major and regular activities of the organization. The journalists thus trained are given opportunity to contribute articles to its Feature Service in Nepali and English, SAS Radio and TV programs and to Sancharika Online.
The journalists trained by SAS have been producing feature stories, investigative reportage and other hard news and contributing to SAS-run media apart from other mainstream media both electronic and print they are affiliated with.

Press Release
Sancharika Samuha, being a pioneer forum of women journalists and communicators, works to safeguard the rights of female journalists, journalists in particular and women in general. In order to ward off possible violation of rights and to draw the attention of the state to provide justice to victims in the aftermath of rights violation plus to call for an action regarding inclusion, equality and meaningful participation of women in different fields of social life, SAS issues press releases.
It also issues press releases to condemn attack on press freedom and safety of journalists besides informing concerned state and non-state actors on its activities targeted to the betterment of the promotion and protection of the rights of women journalists in particular and media people in general. The organization also issues press release on issues of national importance and women's equal participation in decision-making bodies of the state.

Documentary
SAS produces documentaries to capture the reality of the lives of people mostly women whose basic rights are violated. It focuses on denial of the rights of women to acquire citizenship through matriarchy, domestic violence, gender-based violence, violence caused by harmful traditional practices such as dowry, deprivation of girl children from basic education, discrimination against girls and women in different fields of their social life. The organization produces and airs such documentaries with an objective of informing the general public on certain issues of rights violation and drawing the attention of the state to protect and promote their rights, thereby supporting to establish a gender-equal society. SAS has produced many documentaries on violence against women and has aired them through different television channels of Nepal.

Reports
SAS carries out studies on different issues mainly focusing on women journalists, press freedom, media monitoring, status of women journalists, violence against women, domestic violence, structural violence and gender discrimination. Traditional and cultural practices harmful to women are also another area of its advocacy. SAS advocates with and through the media primarily on the basis of the findings of the reports in order to change state policies and programs in favour of women.
The organization also prepares reports of collective campaigns carried out in different times depending on the urgency of issues and events. Likewise, SAS also prepares reports on media monitoring and documents and shares the findings of such studies. Reports prepared and shared by SAS have become very useful for policy-makers, implementers, students and scholars besides women's rights activists and apologists.

Television Programme
Since 4 November 2013, SAS has been producing television programme titled "Samakon" on Kantipur Television. The objective of the programme is to dig out the issues of gender-based violence, bring them to the notice of duty bearers, support survivors of such violence by providing them an opportunity to share the injustice, and create awareness among people in order to create a gender-friendly society.