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Battling the risk of getting covid to brutal online trolling...these 5 brave female journalists are truly shining with their news coverage & relief work!
Battling the risk of getting covid to brutal online trolling…these 5 brave female journalists are truly shining with their news coverage & relief work!
Lockdowns confined the entire county indoors. Except these female journalists who were like knights in shining armour. They continued to cover the pandemic despite the risk of contracting the virus and endangering themselves and their loved ones. How else could they report from the ground, talk to sources?
But the challenges did not end there. Violence against women during the pandemic also rose, leading to online trolling. However these brave female journalists, have kept going despite the challenges and amplified the voices of the affected & needy.
The COVID-19 health crisis affected almost every profession in the last year and a half. But throughout this time, news has continued to reach us. All this is thanks to these female journalists who battled all odds to bring us the news from all over the country.
However, excessive online abuse against women journalists was reported widely. According to a study commissioned by UNESCO and conducted by the International Center for Journalists on 901 female journalists from 125 countries, nearly three quarters of the respondents admitted to have experienced online abuse.
Fake news has become the pandemic’s cohort. Incorrect statistics, rumors and misleading reports have been on the rise during this entire time, especially on WhatsApp.
According to The Washington Post, misinformation in India has been in the form of “fake miracle cures” and “conspiracy theories about the origin and spread of the virus.” More than ever, readers realized the need for accurate and objective journalism. This is when our brave 5 female journalists stood up to the challenge and gave us accurate news from the ground.
Barkha Dutt has been unstoppable in her pandemic coverage. She has worked tirelessly, despite losing her own father to the virus. In a journey across several Indian states, she travelled along with the migrant workers in crowded trucks and trains, and swiftly narrated their woes.
In an interview with Vogue, she reported having to be on duty nonstop and on the move throughout the day, having no places for rest and shelter. She also threw light on the public violence against doctors and healthcare professionals from Indore to Chennai, the 371 cases in Ramganj in Jaipur and the lack of healthcare for COVID-19 patients in Aligarh in this time.
Through this journey, she had to borrow vehicles from people (often reaching out for help on social media), faced personal tragedies, and a contact barrage of online trolling.
Independent journalist, Faye D’Souza remained active on her job throughout the covid crisis.
Known for her regular and reliable updates on a wide array of issues, Faye continued to conduct on-field work, visiting Covid-19 wards, speaking to doctors and opening public’s eyes to the experience of working in a PPE kit for hours as healthcare professionals.
Besides this, she also hosted talks with field experts on her YouTube channel. To help those affected, she also collaborated with Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt to collate authentic databases of helplines and NGOs.
Rana Ayyub is a writer with The Washington Post and a journalist at Substack. Despite testing positive for COVID-19 herself, she continued to stay on the job and shared news updates with the public.
Other than this, the relief work she has conducted with her team during this time is remarkable. Rana Ayyub started a fundraiser for people to donate towards supplying food, ration and hospital fees for the needy.
In 2020, her team successfully supported 70,000 families with food for a month and helped nearly 10,000 migrant workers return to their homes.
Rituparna Chatterjee is the Deputy Asia Editor at The Independent. Going by the Twitter username ‘MasalaBai’, she held discussions on women’s issues on her social media space.
In a time when taboos around menstruation weaken, she has openly written about how Covid frontline workers have suffered as menstruators during the pandemic in a Youth Ki Awaaz article.
In the article, she narrates the struggle of healthcare workers in wearing a PPE kit while on their period. Additionally, she also documents the hardships of Anganwadi workers, working relentlessly despite the summer heat and stomach cramps as well as the difficulties of journalists and relief workers in not even being able to find a clean toilet or a bin to dispose a sanitary napkin, while on road.
Besides these, she also posted job opportunities for women under the hashtag ‘sisterhood jobs.’
Ashwini M Sripad is a Senior Assistant Editor for The New Indian Express. Apart from covering news, she also reached out to help farmers in the pandemic period. This was done by advertising their produce and helping them sell it. She specified what they grew and their contact details on her social media space.
The pandemic has been a tough period for all of us but these female journalists have shown that come what may, dedication to profession and people is foremost for them! “Challenges may come and go, but work comes first,” is the admirable attitude these female journalists have displayed.
Image source: collage of the above journalists have been sourced from Instagram and Twitter
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, indivisual posts do not necessarily represent the platofrom's views and opinions at all times.
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Trigger Warning: Contains derogatory remarks about having a baby through surrogacy or any means other than giving birth through biological means, and may be triggering, especially to adoptive parents.
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Arathi Rajagopalan, founder of 'House of Kalart', talks about thinking like a designer & transitioning to thinking like a business owner.
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When did you start ‘House of Kalart’ and what was the intention?
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In a new book titled, I Am A Troll, Sadhavi Khosla speaks out on the ugly social media trolling that she was once part of, and how it targets women in particular.
Sadhavi Khosla, a former volunteer of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), recently made an explosive revelation. In a tell-all interview, in a book titled I Am A Troll, authored by Swati Chaturvedi, she speaks about how the party would instruct her to do social media trolling against Indian public figures.
She says that she was asked to criticize journalists, actors and political figures online and put up malicious posts against them. Notable persons on the hit list she says, included Rahul Gandhi, and Bollywood star Aamir Khan. Sadhvi however decided to call it quits when she was ordered to tweet criticisms of journalists such as Rajdeep Sardesai and Barkha Dutt.
Journalist Rana Ayyub recently took to Twitter to speak out clearly, against a man who harassed her viciously. The results were encouraging!
Journalist Rana Ayyub recently took to Twitter to speak out clearly, against a man who harassed her viciously. The results were encouraging! Read more.
“Open your legs, you filthy slut.” When a man viciously gets to this level of intolerable verbal abuse, how do you react? Do you feel it’s merely a comment on social media; he didn’t really say it aloud or didn’t touch you in a disgraceful manner, so why make it a big deal? If not that thought, would you give it back exactly the way this no-nonsense female journalist did?
Well, someone had to do it!