CHENNAI: How to report gender-based violence responsibly? This was one of the topics that the Present Tense Club of MOP Vaishnav College for Women dealt with as part of the Club’s inauguration of its new academic year.
Jan Leach, associate professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent University, who inaugurated the event, said “The basics when it comes to reporting such issues include active and non-judgmental listening and keeping the name of the victim a secret till she is comfortable to let you use it.”
Jan stressed on the need to become passionate, less involved and draw lines while reporting, “Many reporters tend to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder after reporting disturbing stories. It is important to identify the story and draw a line between your life and work,” she said.
Around 300 students participated in the discussion and suggested ways in which gender violence can be controlled. “It all begins from the cradle. Girls are told to do prescribed things right from the start. This must change. The media has a huge role to play in changing this,” said Manasa Rao, a student from the journalism department.
The Present Tense Club takes different issues every year. In the past, the members of the club have discussed the importance of getting voter IDs, among others. The discussions are accompanied with activities like panel discussions, guest lectures and press conferences. Parthasarathy, one among the college’s board of governors, was present at the gathering.