The “occupational hazard” of being a journalist is facing a barrage of online abuse, threats and intimidation. In India, the situation is worse for Muslim journalists. How did things get so bad, and are editors today glorifying the need for journalists to grow a thick skin?
These were some of the topics tackled in the discussion “Occupational Hazard” during The Media Rumble 2022, which took place in Delhi on October 14 and 15.
The session was moderated by Dhanya Rajendran, cofounder and editor-in-chief of the News Minute. The panel comprised Bram Logger, cofounder of SPIT, an investigative collective; Fatima Khan, senior reporter with the Quint; Colin Pereira, director of HP Risk Management; and Hartosh Singh Bal, political editor of the Caravan.
Hartosh explained how, in the current climate, “there is no larger choice than to accept that it is going to happen, recognise it, and try to ensure it doesn’t get to you emotionally”. He also talked about what to do when physical threats become dangerous.
Colin added that in the past few years, there’s been an “awakening” among younger journalists and women journalists saying “look, it’s not okay that we’re beaten up because of our jobs, it’s not okay that our bosses don’t look after us, it’s not okay that the environment we live in is a hostile one”.
Text by Hardik Dhogra.
Listen to the conversation here: