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Amrita Tripathi

Writer/ Journalist/ Time Traveller

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Women In the Newsroom (Vs Boardroom)

Wherever you are in the world, from New York to New Delhi, typical newsrooms are constantly abuzz. There is chatter, phone calls and people reading hastily-written copy aloud. In the English-language broadcast news space, in Delhi at least, those voices are often female.

Studios, meanwhile, are silent except for the anchor’s audio (the anchor’s ear is frequently buzzing!), and while you’ll often see ‘single-anchor shows’, the universal model for news broadcasts seems to be of the traditional dual-anchor, male-female type. Reassuringly, when it comes to gender equality, balance is built into the system. Where I work, at CNN-IBN, the odds of being recognised as ‘on-air talent’ seem tipped in favour of women. (What that has to say about the men hiring I will leave for you to judge.)

So much so, that when it comes to daytime news broadcasts, one can frequently see two women anchor together. I can count on the fingers of one hand the times I’ve seen two men anchor together in the past nine years. Make of that what you will. While there is a difference between daytime and primetime, and may sometimes be a perception of who should do the ‘softer’ news stories versus breaking the ‘hard news’ pieces, problems of gender inequality are not really seen in newsrooms and studios – the gender balance, at least in the English-language broadcast news space in India, seems to be on par with the best in the world. Rather, the largest disparities lie within the boardroom.

As Managing Editor of CNBC-TV18 Shereen Bhan tells me, “It’s different as far as the newsroom is concerned, and as far as the boardroom is concerned. We’ve seen the track record is much better in the newsroom, we still have a lot of room to grow in terms of the boardroom.” - See more at: http://himalmag.com/women-newsroom/?currentPage=all#sthash.W3RR9Yi6.dpuf

 

((This is an excerpt of the article in Himal SouthAsian - Feedback is welcome @amritat @Himalistan))

 

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