GNMI gives journalists at Hyderabad Press Club training on digital interviewing tools and techniques.
The training for journalists at Hyderabad Press Club was conducted on 22nd January, 2020. Focusing especially on how to utilize the media tool of digital interviewing in order to ethically interview survivors of gender based violence (GBV). The reason for this is the alarming numbers of women who experience GBV in Pakistan (32%) and worldwide (35%). Rights groups believe the number may be much higher but due to the low rate of reporting from stigma and fears of further violence, the data does not reflect the reality accurately, and these may be conservative estimates.
GNMI designed the training to be able to explore the do’s and don’ts of GBV reporting which entails having to sensitize the participants to identify and rectify the gender bias in the media, within their society and themselves. Najia Ashar, founder of GNMI, as well as the head trainer for the workshop, guided the participants through visual presentations and pragmatic ways in which the journalists could make the leap from traditional to digital media. Aside from this it was imperative to train the journalists on the ways in which the language and practices of the local media was not only invasive but demeaning to those surviving GBV.
The participants were given manuals that were created by the GNMI team which also had tips and techniques regarding how to interview survivors and the ways in which to present their stories that would be discreet, respectful and sensitive to the situation. To inculcate applied knowledge, the workshop had an activity that involved real life case studies that the participants would present in the format of an interview. Journalists broke off into groups of four and brainstormed over the best ways to present their case studies which ranged from cases of severe domestic violence as well as an infamous #MeToo incident.
The participants found the case studies to be relevant and with their newfound training on interviewing ethics as well as gender bias, they were able to perceive these cases with a paradigm shift. In order to measure the increase in the journalists’ knowledge, GNMI distributed pre and post-tests in the duration of the training which allowed the team to gauge the participants understanding of the training. There was a significant increase in knowledge as seen through the test results and this could be qualitatively felt through the presentations exhibited by the participants. For example, one group produced a video on a panel discussion about polio issues in Pakistan, in which they role-played as journalists and stakeholders. The stakeholders discussed the recurrent issue of attacks against polio workers and dived into how it affects women particularly. A recent case was highlighted by the participants themselves in which a person let loose their dog on a polio worker. The participants also discussed how relevant authorities are falling short of fulfilling their responsibility. This makes clear that their level of understanding is sustainable and can be applied to any future GBV news stories they may encounter.
The training was attended by 25 participants out of whom 4 were women. At the culmination of the training, Ashar gave feedback on the final presentations by the participants while paying special attention to the language they used, the camera angles, backdrop, setting and mannerisms. The journalists were awarded certificates of completion of the workshop and vowed to continue being vigilant towards media biases and to report on GBV cases with extra sensitivity and respect in the future.