New Delhi, October 9: In the wake of #MeToo storm hitting newsrooms in India, the Editors Guild of India has issued a statement asking media groups to conduct internal probe on allegations of sexual harassment being levelled against the senior journalists.
The statement comes a day after Hindustan Times' national political editor Prashant Jha submitted his resignation, as a former reporter associated with the publication charged him of sexual harassment. #MeToo Storm Hits Indian Media, Hindustan Times Journalist Prashant Jha First to Resign.
Meanwhile, another prominent English daily - the Times of India - has landed in deck as an ex-scribe, Sandhya Menon, associated with the newspaper between 2005-08, has accused a senior editor of sexually harassing her.
The TOI has issued a statement claiming that its designated cell to address such grievances has launched a high-level probe into the allegations levelled by Menon.
Editors Guild of India issues a statement on 'incidents of sexual harassment on women journalists by male colleagues'; states 'It calls upon media orgs to hold unbiased inquiries into all reported cases. Anybody found guilty of sexual harassment/assault should be punished' #MeToo pic.twitter.com/RO1xpwy450
— ANI (@ANI) October 9, 2018
Read the Full Statement Issued by the Editors Guild of India:
The Editors Guild of India has noted with concern and dismay the incidence of alleged sexual harassment and assault on women journalists by their male colleagues. It unequivocally condemns all predatory conduct by such men. It is worse when the perpetrators also happen to be enjoying senior or supervisory positions in the profession.
The Guild also expresses its gratitude and solidarity towards women journalists who have displayed the courage to bring these critical issues in public debate.
The Guild is also committed to ensuring that the legal rights of either the victims or the accused are not violated. A fair, just and safe working environment is essential if press freedoms are to flourish. The newsroom in our profession is a relatively informal, free-spirited and hallowed space. It must be protected.
The Guild extends its total support to all women journalists, who suffered a disadvantage in their careers, physical or mental trauma, as a result of any sexual predation.
It calls upon the media organisations to hold unbiased inquiries into all reported cases. This is the time for all of us to strengthen our internal processes. It includes training of staff and improving awareness, as mandated by the law and even beyond. Anybody found guilty of sexual harassment or assault should be punished as provided in the law.
The newsroom is the most inclusive work space in terms of gender. It is our responsibility as media leaders to ensure that it remains safe and fair for all, especially women.