By Abhishek Jha:
Reporting from rural or remote areas, which seldom get live coverage, can be dangerous for print or online media journalists, especially so when they challenge the local strongmen, administration, or government. Malini Subramaniam of Scroll.in faced a similar challenge recently when her house was attacked and she was forced to leave Jagdalpur. Subramaniam had been reporting from Bastar on several local issues highlighting atrocities by the police and security forces in the region as well as attacks on journalists in the region.
For those working for small publications, especially women, this seems, however, to be a regular norm. Reporters working for Khabar Lahariya, which describes itself as a “weekly rural newspaper written, edited, illustrated, produced and marketed by a group of women – most of them from marginalised Dalit, Kol and Muslim communities” and is published from five districts in Uttar Pradesh and one in Bihar, have shared some such experiences in the past.
Facing sexual advances and intimidation, the struggle of these women in a male-dominated public space is relentless and yet remains unnoticed. Unlike those working for larger publications, they do not have the option to leave their household either. In these two videos from Khabar Lahariya, they narrate the challenges that they face and the manner in which they overcome them, while regularly reporting for their local readership.