UNESCO Guidelines for Reporting on Sexual Violence Now Available in Nine Indian Languages

Guidelines developed by UNESCO New Delhi and the Bournemouth University for reporting on sexual violence is now available in nine Indian languages including Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Oriya, Tamil, Kashmiri and Urdu. These Guidelines titled “Sexual Violence and the News Media: Guidelines for Journalists in India” are part of a larger report presenting the findings of a multilingual national study on the news reporting of gender-based violence in India.

The stated guidelines—for journalists and newsrooms—can be put into practice on a day-to-day basis for routine news work focusing on interviewing survivors, depiction and news framing, sources, setting a context, and offering solutions.

UNESCO New Delhi and Bournemouth University had jointly launched the publication on 28 July 2021, in an online event, with the aim to improve media reporting on sexual violence.

Some key findings of the report are:

  • Nearly 20% of our respondents experienced psychological challenges while reporting on sexual violence
  • 55% of women journalists said they experienced or witnessed workplace sexual harassment or violence
  • Journalists typically focused on sexual violence in urban areas (49%), with only 22% incidents being reported from rural areas during our period of analysis
  • Journalists faced several challenges, which included safety issues and psychological distress

The publication also calls on journalism associations and news industry leaders to take a lead in establishing a national charter for news reporting of sexual violence. Among the various recommendations, it suggests that news organizations should adopt and integrate reporting guidelines into everyday news work and agree on an institutional approach for the use of language associated with sexual violence.

To read and download the full report, click here.

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