'Media can't be accused of portraying fairer sex negatively'

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Shillong, Nov 15 (UNI) The media cannot be accused of portraying the fairer sex negatively, Meghalaya Information and Public Relation Minister Manas Chaudhuri said today.

The journalist-turned-politician made this remark while debating on ''Media Frequently Portrays Women In a Negative Manner,'' - organised by the Shillong Press Club on the eve of the National Press Day.

''The media is impartial and objective. In reporting crimes, media reports facts and bases their stories on the information fed by investigating agencies,'' Mr Chaudhuri stated.

He added ''Only those who are vulnerable felt threatened and accused media of portraying the fairer sex negatively.'' Manosh Das of Times of India, adjudged winner of the debate after tugging in to a number of issues and facts on the portrayal of women in the media, said media was not a homogenous entity but a mirror that reflected reality.

Echoing him, Editor of The Shillong Times, Patricia Mukhim pointed out that media was not there to identify gender but to report the truth.

''As far as obscenity is concerned, sexuality is a natural phenomenon and admiring a well carved human body is not obscene,'' Ms Mukhim said.

However, members of the treasury bench accused the media of bias when reporting on gender issues, specifically gender violence.

Pointing out that the media was succumbing to patriarchal apartheids, women's rights activists Angela Rangad suggested that media should provide space to success of women rather than succumbing to stereotype reporting.

''The media focusses only obscenity and distorts or rather uses them as commodity for sale,'' another women's rights activist Dr.

Natalie West Kharkongor said Former Principal of St Mary's College, Sr. Philomena Kharakor castigated the media for giving disproportionate coverage on the professionalism and success of women. ''On screen women are shown as strips rather than strong,'' she stated.

Making her remarks, Meghalaya's lone woman legislator and Parliamentary Secretary in-charge Elementary Education, Mazeal Ampareen Lyngdoh suggested journalists to strengthen research capacities and conduct investigative journalism in the public interest.

Meanwhile, the Shillong Press Club adjudged Chaudhuri as the best debater.


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