Women journalists must pave the path for more women in journalism: Gitiara Nasreen

Geeti Ara Nasreen

Women working in the country’s media are still largely considered "women journalists", and to get out of such an identity stereotype, eminent journalism educator Gitiara Nasreen has emphasised on the importance of establishing the identity of just ‘journalist’ for women.

Speaking at a discussion titled 'Celebrating Young Women in Journalism and Future Prospects' at a hotel in the capital on Friday, the professor of mass communication and journalism at Dhaka University lamented that journalism is still considered a “men’s job”, stated a press release.

The position of women journalists in the country's media today has been paved by the contribution of pioneers like Noor Jahan Begum and Razia Khan Amin, and today’s women journalists have to pave a better path for women journalists of the future, she said at the event organised by DW Akademie in Bangladesh, the international media development wing of German media Deutsche Welle.

Asha Mehreen Amin, joint editor of English daily The Daily Star, said in her speech that the number of women in many news outlets of the country is still very low, and their number in decision-making positions in newsrooms is close to zero.

Until women reach key positions in newsrooms, media’s decision-making will continue to be driven by male-centric perspectives, and to get to that position, the first step is to increase the number of women in newsrooms, she said. On the occasion, the guests handed over certificates of 'DW Akademie Women Journalists’ Mentorship Program' to young women journalists and journalism students.

Under a three-month mentorship programme earlier this year, 20 journalists and journalism students received training and mentorship on various aspects of journalism, and published 10 joint investigative reports.

Prothom Alo's special correspondent Rozina Islam, who was the chief mentor of the programme, feels that there are still very few opportunities for training and professional skills enhancement for women journalists, especially those working outside Dhaka and in small media.

She emphasised on the need for such mentorship for young women journalists and students. Journalism students from different universities of the country and journalists working in diverse media who came to the event, presented their experiences of the mentorship and challenges in their journalism practice.

DW Akademie senior consultant Lutfa Ahmed delivered the welcome speech at the event while trainer Mainul Islam Khan also shared his experience of the mentorship.

DW Akademie, that is active in some 50 countries across the globe, has been working in Bangladesh since 2014 to promote educational and professional development of journalism in Bangladesh, and to strengthen free media.