30 July 2016
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An unequal disaster
As Uttarakhand reels in the aftermath of floods, Ammu Joseph underlines the need for greater awareness of the gender dimensions of such calamities and recognition of the special and diverse needs of women.
Women | Relief
June 2013

Terror reporting reveals gaping holes
The pervasive tendency to speculate and insinuate involvement of individuals and selective groups in instances of terror, without authentication or references to source of information, is not only an unfair attack on those implicated but against the very essence of journalism.
February 2013

Who will bell the media cat?
If issues concerning media standards and ethics are not swept under the carpet, some good may result from the storm over Justice Katju's observations.
December 2011

Who pays the price for paid news?
In mid-June, the Election Commmission directed Chief Electoral Officers of all states and UTs to enforce the law against "paid news" during elections.
The Press
June 2010


Countdown to better representation of women in media
The world's largest and longest-running research and action initiative on gender in the news media was released on 2 March in New York.
Women and Media
March 2010

Media Policy: A citizens' wishlist for Ambika Soni
For sometime there has been an impasse between media and the government over the Broadcast Bill and media regulation. A set of documents is being released to stimulate public debate.
July 2009

Media and Health: Who will heal who?
Why are select medical cases hogging media attention? It is a matter of concern that health coverage is all too often susceptible to manipulation that makes a mockery of professional ethics.
Media | Health
December 2007

Is the media watching poverty enough?
If our media can provide regular updates on the stock markets, foreign exchange and bullion rates, weather, pollution, etc., surely they can add a poverty watch? The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty passed on 17 October, and
Hunger | Press
October 2007

Concern over content and conduct
Must government regulate TV content? A Delhi-based TV channel's fraudulent sting operation has brought the recklessness of television journalism to the fore again. The government seems open to some self-regulation by the media, but time is clearly running out for the broadcast industry.
September 2007

Whose media are they anyway?
The government's draft Broadcast Bill does not reflect a nuanced understanding of the complex and contentious issues relating to media ownership. At the same time the objections raised by India's media industry do not acknowledge the fact that media regulation in most 'mature democracies' includes restrictions on media ownership.
Media | Legislation
August 2007

Public missing in Broadcast Bill debate
The good news is that the controversial broadcast regulation bill is unlikely to be introduced in Parliament during the ongoing monsoon session. The bad news is that in the renewed tug-of-war between the government and the industry, the public could be left out once more.
Media | Laws
August 2007

Whose budget is it anyway?
Newspapers' coverage of the Union budget left little doubt where their class interests lie. The majority of those covering the budget had no clue what it all means for the aam aadmi, or even who this mythical creature might be. Naturally, their hapless readers too were left similarly wondering.
April 2007

Missing links
Few of the reports that appeared in the press in the two-week survey period told readers anything they did not already know. Ammu Joseph surveys media reports of child labour as the Centre's widened ban on employing children in hazardous occupations comes into effect.
Child labour | Part II
October 2006

The media, war and peace
Voices for peace are plentiful as well as poignant, but even when there is considerable coverage of a conflict, we almost never read of any of these. There is resistance within the media to the idea of 'peace journalism'; opponents believe 'objectivity' would suffer if the media pursued indisputably worthy goals like peace.
August 2006

Sound and fury over the Broadcast Bill
Journalists have strongly objected to provisions of the proposed Broadcast Bill empowering the government to cripple media through pre-censorship. The media industry has been furiously lobbying against the Bill's attempt to regulate ownership. Amidst all this, there has been little mention of the need for the public to have a say.
Media | Laws
July 2006

Missing in action
A newly released report reveals that dialogue with and within the media is needed, not just to get gendered issues or events covered but, more importantly, to promote "a gender vision." If accuracy and balance are the hallmarks of good journalism, better representation of women is integral to professionalism in the media.
Women and Media
February 2006

Covering the Republic of Hunger
About 320 million Indians go to bed without food every night, and recent data suggests this already alarming situation is getting worse. Despite the magnitude and intensity of this problem, it remains on the margins of policy planning, public action, intellectual discourse, and media coverage.
Hunger | Media
January 2006

Able but unwilling?
On World Disability Day and the few days following it, there was some coverage in the media of issues that concern the disabled population. But, considering that this represents peak coverage for the year it is hardly adequate, especially as the number of disabled persons in India is huge.
Media | Disability
December 2005

Far from labouring the point
One aspect of the recent south Asian earthquake disaster that has received little media attention so far is its effect on livelihoods. But employment and livelihoods are not the stuff of which headlines are made - unless, of course, it is in the context of the corporate world, or when it cannot be ignored such as a nation-wide strike.
Labour | The Press
November 2005

Covering the silent revolution
A flurry of activities of senior citizen associations and related news coverage usually herald the International (and National) Day of Older Persons, annually observed on 1 October since 1990. However, it will take much more to focus serious attention on the world's fastest growing population group.
The press | Society
September 2005

Cutting through the urban jungle
It may take more than random coverage of dramatic developments on the civic front for the media fulfil its promise of connecting citizens and governments. Mere reports based entirely on press statements and conferences in which plans are presented with little questioning won't do.
The Press | Karnataka
September 2005

Where have all the children gone?
The media today -- print and television -- reflect little active awareness of the fact that they have an important role to play in enabling children to learn about the highly complex world they live in. Children's voices are missing even in reports and articles on matters directly related and relevant to them.
The Press | Children
August 2005

The medium, the message, and the masses
A government panel supports freeing Doordarshan and AIR from having to run socially relevant programming. But what else is public broadcasting for, asks Ammu Joseph, pointing out that all over the world there is growing awareness of the need to keep media honest in serving the public interest.
May 2005

Public discourse on public health
The Patents Amendment Bill involved an issue of great concern to citizens. But did the Indian media provide a public forum for debate on the issue and enable individuals and institutions to contribute their thinking? Ammu Joseph doesn't think the media lived up to its responsibilities.
April 2005

Ammu Joseph is an independent journalist and author based in Bangalore, writing primarily on issues relating to gender, human development and the media. She contributes to a number of mainstream publications and web-based media.

Among her publications are six books:

  • Whose News? The Media and Women's Issues (1994/2006, authored/edited with Kalpana Sharma)
  • Making News: Women in Journalism (2000/2005);
  • Storylines: Conversations with Women Writers (2003, with 4 other editors);
  • Just Between Us: Women Speak about their Writing (2004, with 4 others);
  • Interior Decoration: Anthology of Poems by Indian Women (2010, with 4 others); and
  • Terror, Counter-Terror: Women Speak Out (2003, edited with Kalpana Sharma)

She has also contributed chapters to several other books and written/edited a number of other publications, both Indian and international (among them, most recently, Missing Half the Story: Journalism as if Gender Matters [2010] and the IFJ-WACC Resource Kit to Strengthen Gender-Ethical Journalism [2012]). She contributed to UNESCO.s Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media and is currently part of an international team working on a UNESCO report on World Trends in the State of Freedom of Expression and Media Development.

She is a founder-member of the Network of Women in Media, India, and of the fledgling group, Media Watch Bengaluru, which seeks to create time and space for discussions on media-related issues in Bangalore.

by this columnist ...
- Media with a message
- Gender, media and tsunamis
- When violence is not news
- Counsel for the Council
- Muslim growth rate and the media
- Censoring peace amid deterrence
- Guardians of the public interest?

India Together Get in-depth information and news on development, policy and social issues related to India. en-us What's working, what's not Thu, 28 Jul 2016 05:29:06 +0000 pavan kulkarni

The uneven performance of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the task of rural asset generation requires a careful comparison of the decision making processes involved in those cases where the works undertaken have produced value and where it has failed to. Pavan Kulkarni analyses the success and the failures of the act based on different studies, before identifying some of its rectifiable shortcomings.

]]> Lessons for rural electrification from a weaving village Fri, 15 Jul 2016 15:46:10 +0000 Sreekumar N

Is village-level electrification enough for the rural population to avail the benefits of electricity? The experience of Nagde, a village in Maharashtra, offers some crucial insights. If electrification drives remain focused only on village electrification, connections and lighting, 'Gaaon Ka Vikaas Garv Ke Saath' will remain just rhetoric. Anjali Sharma, Ann Josey, and Sreekumar N report.

The right to water for life Tue, 12 Jul 2016 07:20:21 +0000 Shripad Dharmadhikary

On 26th May 2016, the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR) put out the Draft National Water Framework Bill, inviting public comments.  The bill represents an important and progressive step forward despite some shortcomings and challenges involved in its implementation, writes  Shripad Dharmadhikary.

There's more than meets the Mumbai Eye Wed, 06 Jul 2016 07:18:48 +0000 Darryl D'Monte

With the arrival of a new Chairman of Mumbai Port Trust, the redevelopment of port land in Mumbai is  being discussed again and like the earlier discussions this one too ignores the real needs of the city and its citizens. Darryl D’Monte elaborates.

The brouhaha on censorship Thu, 30 Jun 2016 09:19:40 +0000 Shoma Chatterji

The tremendous rage against Pehlaj Nihalani around the Udta Punjab (2016) issue finally resolved by the High Courts with minor cuts gives a reason to take a retrospective look into some memorable deletions and suggestions by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) much before Pahlaj Nihalani entered the frame, says Shoma Chatterji.

Manipur: Rattled and Torn Wed, 15 Jun 2016 17:45:16 +0000 Ramesh Menon

It has been more than nine months since a political crisis has snowballed into a battle between the tribals and the non-tribals of Manipur creating sharp divisions. Ramesh Menon surveys the fragile situation.

Withering public consultations Thu, 09 Jun 2016 16:49:06 +0000 Shalini Bhutani Kanchi Kohli

The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 states that before using any Indian biological material for commercial or R&D purposes, a wider public consultation is needed via the local Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs). Now, the National Biodiversity Authority is considering dispensing with BMC consultation. Kanchi Kohli and Shalini Bhutani question the logic behind this change.

Water guzzlers in water-stressed areas Mon, 06 Jun 2016 08:55:51 +0000 Shripad Dharmadhikary

This summer, stories of the impacts of drought and water scarcity have been coming up with a saddening regularity. These stories mostly highlight the conditions of farmers, cattle and increasingly, problems of domestic water supplies in villages, towns and cities. However, what is often not reported is the situation with industries, particularly the coal based thermal power plants, reports Shripad Dharmadhikary.

How badly designed and unsafe | World War II redux in the nuclear age Wed, 01 Jun 2016 09:03:36 +0000 IndiaTogether

In this edition, we look into the great dangers posed by nuclear power and plants, the importance given to building highways compare to other types of infrastructure development, the alarming rate at which our groundwater is depleting, the struggle in supporting film-making in the northeastern states, and more.

A misplaced emphasis on highways? Mon, 30 May 2016 07:37:30 +0000 Kannan Kasturi

Why does the government continue with its blind focus on highways and expressways when infrastructure for water supply, waste management and mass transit system is in desperate need of attention? Kannan Kasturi criticises the government's prioritization and says there is more to public infrastructure than just highways and expressways.

Telling tales from the Northeast Wed, 25 May 2016 09:44:26 +0000 Shoma Chatterji

There is hardly any cinema industry or theatres existing in some of the Northeastern states of India today. This is shocking because the seeds of cinema were sown in Assam way back in 1935. Shoma Chatterji writes about the challenges faced and efforts being made in these states to encourage and support film making.

Extraction exceeds recharge Thu, 19 May 2016 08:59:51 +0000 Kaushiki Sanyal

Last month, the Bombay High Court passed an order to shift IPL matches scheduled for the month of May out of the state of Maharashtra.  The court cited an acute water shortage in some parts of the state for its decision. From PRS Legislative Research, answers to some basic questions about ground water and its depletion in our country.

How badly designed and unsafe Fri, 13 May 2016 09:57:39 +0000 Darryl D'Monte

The 30th and 5th anniversaries this year of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plant accidents respectively are the right occasions to examine India’s record in this sector, writes Darryl D’Monte.

World War II redux in the nuclear age Sun, 08 May 2016 09:19:36 +0000 Firdaus Ahmed

A mega Indian Army exercise aimed at sharpening Army's deep strike capabilities in enemy territory concluded last month in Rajasthan. Firdaus Ahmed analyses why having the strike capabilities in this nuclear age might be a mixed blessing.

What Chernobyl and Fukushima remind us | Residents of a municipal dumping site fight back Sun, 01 May 2016 12:56:58 +0000 IndiaTogether

In this edition, we remember the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that took place 30 years ago and what we  need to learn from it. We also look into how some brave women in Gujarat are fighting to save their village from becoming a dump yard, how a group of local men in Maharashtra have become champions of women’s rights and equality, and much more.

What Chernobyl and Fukushima remind us Sat, 30 Apr 2016 05:46:23 +0000 Darryl D'Monte

The 30th anniversary on April 26 of the catastrophic accident at the nuclear power station in Chernobyl, which is now part of an independent Ukraine, has gone unnoticed in the Indian media. One can ignore the lessons – as well as those of the Fukushima plant, the fifth anniversary of which also falls this year – only at our peril, given the huge investments India is making in this energy sector, writes Darryl D’Monte.

Saankal – strong content, weak movie Thu, 28 Apr 2016 10:27:04 +0000 Shoma Chatterji

Even a badly made film becomes a learning experience for the viewers because it sheds light on issues not known widely otherwise, says Shoma Chatterji as she reviews the movie Saankal. She also ponders why badly made movies are being invited and awarded at several film festivals.

This village doesn’t deny its women the right to pray Tue, 26 Apr 2016 06:54:48 +0000 Amrita Nandy

Suchismita Pai travels to the hinterland of the western state of Maharashtra where a unique intervention with the local men has motivated them to shed their rigid patriarchal mindset and become champions of women’s rights and equality.

Hope in Bihar Sat, 23 Apr 2016 12:03:17 +0000 Ashish Kothari

The state of Bihar is well-known for lagging behind in all economic and human development indicators. Recently, Ashish Kothari visited some areas in Bihar where interesting things are happening. Under progressive governance and grassroots action by its citizens when these are implemented state-wise, Bihar would be well on the path of progress.

Residents of a municipal dumping site fight back Thu, 21 Apr 2016 07:04:06 +0000 Shvetangini Patel Vimal Kalavadiya

The women of Meghpar village of Kutch District are fighting the big port town Gandhidham municipality which is dumping its waste in their village. Vimal Kalavadiya and Shvetangini Patel narrate how these women self-learned the waste management rules and other legal aspects to keep their struggle strong and on.

Debaranjan Sarangi: Another artist incarcerated | Tribal seat reservation issue rakes up storm in Sikkim Fri, 15 Apr 2016 08:24:22 +0000 IndiaTogether

In this edition, we find out why documentary film-maker and human right activist Debaranjan Sarangi is under arrest, the issue of tribal reservation in Sikkim's legislative assembly, why coal-based thermal power plants are to limit their water consumption, the prevalence of toxic materials in our daily lives, and more.

New regulations welcome, but the proof will be in the eating Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:03:24 +0000 Shripad Dharmadhikary

For the first time ever, new regulations from the environment ministry require coal-based thermal power plants to stick to legally binding limits for water consumption. Shripad Dharmadhikary examines the implications of these rules with respect to the water consumption limits of coal based power plants.

Tribal seat reservation issue rakes up storm in Sikkim Thu, 07 Apr 2016 17:45:01 +0000 Soumik Dutta

The long pending issue of Limbu-Tamang tribal seat reservation in the Sikkim legislative assembly has to be resolved within the next four months as per the latest orders given by the Supreme Court. Soumik Dutta writes about how this could change the political scenario in Sikkim.

Debaranjan Sarangi: Another artist incarcerated Wed, 06 Apr 2016 04:28:00 +0000 Shoma Chatterji

Debaranjan Sarangi, a documentary film maker, writer and human rights activist was arrested recently in Kashipur, Odisha. He has been involved for more than eight years with the anti-mining movement of the Adivasis in Kashipur. Shoma Chatterji writes about Sarangi's arrest, his activism and his films which deal with Adivasis and their struggles.

Jharkhand looks at better planning to aid NREGA outcomes Tue, 05 Apr 2016 01:55:02 +0000 Ankita Aggarwal

A three-day planning process undertaken as part of a state-wide campaign called “Yojana Banao Abhiyan” to plan for NREGA implementation in every village in Jharkhand has sensitized the people and authorities to the potential of the scheme and recharged local democratic institutions. Ankita Aggarwal reports.



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