Indian News Media Needs to Change How It Reports Violence Against Women

Anusha G
7 min readMay 30, 2021

(Trigger Warning: discussion of sexual violence against women, rape, and sexual abuse.)

We turn to news media to stay informed of current events, but knowingly or not, we are also shaping our opinions on key issues. The kind of content we consume can say a lot about our worldviews and what we believe is morally right or wrong.

Gender-based violence (GBV) is prevalent in India. News media plays a significant role in influencing the public perceptions of such crimes and gender roles. But what happens when the media is biased in its reporting, carries its socio-political agenda, and is targeted towards a specific market, just as any other business?

Source: Sajjad Hussain — Getty Images

Gender Inequality in Indian Media

The following report is a Media Rumble initiative, done in partnership with UN Women.

Gender composition by number of articles on gender issues in English & Hindi newspapers.
Gender composition of panels debating on gender issues in Indian TV news.
Gender composition of panels debating on gender issues in TV news.
Gender composition by number of articles on gender issues in digital media.

These are jarring statistics that shape the views of many Indians across the country and over the world. For our parents who grew up on television and print media, they are shown the perspective of a particular set of people. We, who grew up on online media, get our news from online news sources. Online platforms allowed marginalised individuals to voice their opinions, and therefore, we get a more diverse perspective on a situation.

When it comes to gender-related issues, news reporting has mostly focused on stories of sexual violence. When was the last time you saw a primetime news debate or a national news channel discuss gender-related issues that had nothing to do with a high-profile rape case? Even in those discussions, the reporting is extremely problematic and overly sensationalised.

Media Coverage of the 2012 Delhi Case

Anusha G

Creative Writer | Sex Talk Sunday Series | Film Enthusiast