I Think: The media doesn’t really care about victims

Nishpa Cristal, marketing professional, Chennai

‘The media should aim to improve society, not just to boost ratings’. Photo courtesy: Nishpa Cristal

I’m not a news person at all! I don’t read the papers but I do keep track of the issues of the day through my mobile news feed and on social networking sites.

When it comes to the issue of rape, I believe that the media doesn’t paint an accurate picture. They exaggerate things most of the time. And I really don’t think they genuinely care about the problem. There is also a lot more coverage of urban centres. Many victims in rural areas are not given attention.

The media has created a scenario where people have begun to think that India is not a safe place for women. We see so many rape stories, even about three-year-old children, but it seems these are run to boost circulation and TRPs. There is no attempt to show a solution to the problem, or to initiate any kind of action. There are just reports that die after a few days. People also forget and move on to the next problem.

The #MeToo movement is to an extent an effective fightback against harassment. But it is also being misused and the cause of the initiative seems to be under mockery. I think we are all responsible for this situation. Directly or indirectly, victims are given less significance and they are not given the justice they demand.

The media should organise more awareness programs and campaigns rather than dance shows and so on. It should focus on making sure the victims get justice rather than sensationalizing stories.

If I were a journalist, my main focus would be on rehabilitating victims. All I ask of the media is to please provide accurate coverage to better society rather than to improve ratings.

This is part of a series of articles that NewsTracker published from 25 November to 10 December as part of the #16Days activism, aligned with the UN’s International Day for Ending Violence Against Women. This piece was published on Day 5.