‘Media profession is an odd hour job, which requires hard work. So, women are not interested to join media.’ ‘ Government should formulate separate policy on hiring number of women journalists in the media houses.’ ‘ Families restrict women to initiate journalism career, rather they insist to making banking career.’

These statements were made by the journalists- editors and reporters- during an interface on ‘Women Representation in Province Media’ Freedom Forum organized in Bardibas, a city in southern plains, on September 30, 2019. The interface was organized as part of the project named CACFRIIM. At the interface attended by 20 journalists, Media Monitoring Assistant, Ms Shanti Chaulagain, made a presentation on women’s presence in the selected nine dailies- three from each Province 1, Province 2 and Province 3 of the country. The presentation was based on the findings and data analyses FF made with its regular monitoring of the province dailies from July to August 2019.

On the occasion, Surendra Bhandari, editor with the Purvanchal daily, said byline was published only in the investigative stories. ” In the article, female byline is visible but in news, women are reluctant to publish their name,” he observed.

Similarly, Bandhu Pokharel, editor with the Udghosh daily thanked FF for incorporating Udgosh in media content research. “We are putting effort to hire female reporter,” he added. Murali Prasad Yadav, editor with the  Krishna daily, his daily had female technician, but very few female reporters. Only in investigative stories, byline was given. “Our media house emphasized on keeping male and female sources in a balanced manner,” he said adding that as the persons in position are males, they are quoted more.

Moreover, editor and publisher of the Hetauda Sandesh daily, Madhav Neupane, mentioned female were free to report on any issues. It is hard to meet female reporters’ salary expectation, he said, adding that it was problematic for media when talent female journalists quickly shift their career to NGO from journalism. “It is difficult for journalists to retain in the profession whether they are female or male,” he observed and argued that new generation was not interested to make career in journalism.

Kuldip Das from the Janakpur TV suggested that media house could coordinate with colleges to promote new generation journalists in the media houses.

Ajay Shah, editor with the Khabar daily said women journalists are more in radio and television than in print media. “Women are not interested to do investigating reporting,” he said, adding that media profession is an odd hour job requiring hard work. So, women are not interested to join it. According to him, women do not take media as a secure job. While hiring new journalists, it is necessary to allocate certain quota for female journalists, he suggested.

Ms Jyoti Thakur associated with the Reja daily however different from the above that family restrict women to make career in journalism rather they want them join banking job. “Women are not allowed easily to stay out of home for long which however is common for reporting,” she shared the problem.

Editor with Reja daily, Rajan Singh, viewed, “It is said audience for radio, television and print are different. In case of TV and Radio, they search more female journalists.” He argued that implementation of the provision on minimum wage to working journalists was essential to ensure more number of women in media. When the women’s number is increase, their byline and sources is obviously more. “Government should formulate separate policy on hiring number of women journalist in the media houses,” he suggested.

Reporter with the Gorkhapatra daily from Hetauda, Rammani Dahal, said the number of both the male and female journalists was very few in the district. We lack trained and skilled journalists, he said, adding that journalists are not provided even minimum salary.

Bikram Niraula from Udghosh daily of Biratnagar, a city in the southern plains of east, also echoed Mr Dahal that media houses lack trained journalists. Government should force media houses to allocate quote for women journalists, he urged.