Reporters Without Orders Ep 135: Hathras rape case, and how the media covered it

A reporters’ podcast about what made news and what shouldn’t have.

ByNL Team
Reporters Without Orders Ep 135: Hathras rape case, and how the media covered it
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In this episode, host Snigdha Sharma is joined by Newslaundry’s Nidhi Suresh and Akanksha Kumar.

This time, the trio skip the bizarre news section to discuss the most horrific story of the week: the Hathras case. A 19-year-old Dalit woman succumbed to injuries at a hospital in New Delhi after she was gangraped by four Thakur men in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras district.

Nidhi brings up that the victim’s body was cremated by the Uttar Pradesh police without a single family member being present. “Her family was deprived of even one intimate moment with her body,” she says. In the context of medical shortcomings and administrative blunders, she adds: “The family has to ask the doctors again and again, to take a look at her.” Nidhi also explains how the family, afraid they might lose the woman, tried at the time to get the media’s attention.

On how the story was covered by the media, Akanksha talks about how “empathy was missing in the reporters” while they were speaking to the victim’s family. “Initially, no media house reported this story, but after they did, I wished that they didn’t,” she says. “Every inch of the house was occupied by journalists and relatives.”

Nidhi and Akanksha explain the caste divide in the village, and how they asked Thakur residents if they participated in Valmiki weddings. The Thakurs said no, Nidhi says, but said the Valmikis would come for their weddings “for cleaning”. The Valmiki families are also treated differently in shops, and nobody wants to touch anything that they have touched.

All this and a lot more as they talk about what made news this week, what didn’t, and what shouldn’t have. Tune in!



What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self


‘Our fault is that she was Dalit’: In Hathras, a forced cremation, a media circus, and a life of humiliation

‘Help us get justice, please’: Dalit girl assaulted in UP’s Hathras succumbs


Rape Nation': Meena Kandasamy’s poem on the Hathras case

Produced and recorded by Parikshit Sanyal and Lipi Vats, edited by Harshula Sharma.

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