Women and Media
History tells us that women were not very welcome in media (print or television) and were marginalized. They were expected to do only articles on food, child rearing, beauty and nothing serious. In India things slowly changed in the seventies and voice of women in papers and magazines were read. Women and media have a stronger relationship, now than before. Earlier, the presence of women in newspaper, radio and TV were restricted to news writing, news reading, programme presentation or anchoring shows meant for women. Today women in media have a more active role in the whole process of news reporting, news editing, presentation and even new analysis where a command over the topic is very important. Whether its paper, radio or TV women have become more aware and are competitive enough to handle what usually men handled. Today, we have women reporter journalists traveling to every corner of the world facing difficult situations or risks to bring news to us. Most of the TV channels have women reporters and news presenters who have impressed the viewers. They are also conductors or anchors of talk shows having important personalities and leaders as guests. Be it art, news, political discussions or social debates, women in media are handling it very professionally and are growing experience- wise. These aren’t easy since it needs knowledge of the subject preparedness to face the counter opinions, objective handling of debates, and control of the show in general.
Interestingly, even in the sports based programmes or channels we have women giving commentaries or is a part of the discussion panel or anchoring. Just few years ago people wouldn’t have imagined this change, in the male dominated field.
Women were known earlier through their writings as columnists or editors of newspapers We also heard them as programme presenter, news reader and characters in radio. Today they have become more visible, that is their presence is felt and they are becoming popular. Be it news reader, anchor, script-writer, actor, artist, or a producer. Some of the women are household names and favorite anchors & reporters. Women through work in media have turned into celebrities.
Women have become an important part of media and are inspiring many other women to take up career in media. Women who by nature have a flair for languages are more articulate than men and so have an advantage. They also outdo men when it comes to talking or Interacting with people.
In 1995, United Nations reported that women make up only 12 percentages of media employees. The situation iv far better now. The print media, radio, TV or films-the representation of women has gone up and their roles are more challenging than what were offered earlier. But, a little worrying thing is the way some successful women are treated by media when they raise sensitive issues or have an opinion. There are many ordinary women doing extra-ordinary jobs and media can help them in spreading their work and make them known to the world.