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Reporting on Violence against Women, March 2018

A collaboration between Welsh Women’s Aid, NUJ Training Cymru Wales and ITV Cymru Wales.

6 March 2018, 2-5.30pm, ITV Cymru Wales, Cardiff

Testimonials from attendees:

As a journalist I appreciated being able to hear from survivors about how they want to be represented and to hear about examples they were unhappy with. We often don’t get that kind of feedback from case studies but our coverage would certainly improve if we did.” Paul Davies – Broadcast Journalist – ITV Wales

Excellent speakers and a good number of attendees, it allowed for debate.” Chiara Rinaldi – Head of Audience – Wales Online.

 

This ground-breaking event set out to explore the reporting and portrayal of violence against women in the media. It gave journalists, editors and producers the chance to discuss what works, and what doesn’t, when reporting on domestic abuse, sexual violence and all other forms of violence against women.

Other topics covered included access and relationship building; the use of language; identification; and duty of care after transmission or publication. Participants included other journalists, experts from Welsh Women’s Aid, other specialist services, and survivors of abuse.

The media portrayal of violence against women is critically important. It has the power to educate the public and influence people’s behaviour, attitudes and judgements: a 2009 report[1] found that the media can encourage society to justify violence against women, by focusing unduly on assumed ‘reasons’ and ‘causes’ for the violence.[2]

Attendees were given the opportunity to talk with survivors and specialist services about their experience of working with the media and discuss the NUJ guidelines around reporting on violence against women.

“When it came to leaving or reporting abuse, some of our biggest barriers were facing social stigma and the fear of the victimisation we would face. The media are our biggest asset to removing these barriers…The portrayal of women who have been through abuse in the media can have an empowering or a devastating effect and the difference is subtle.”

– Survivor

In the lead up to International Women’s Day (8 March), this event was aimed at providing journalists with an opportunity to gather stories and ideas.

Running Order:

13:45     Arrivals

14:00     Anna Wynn Roberts, Project Manager, NUJ Training Cymru Wales: Introduction & housekeeping

14:05   Introduction from Mwenya Chimba, Head of Training & Survivor Participation, Welsh Women’s Aid

14:15     Panel 1 – Documentary-makers & journalists chaired by Sarah Drew, Content Editor, ITV Wales

  • Anna Hall, producer – director: to present clips and Q&A
  • Esella Hawkey, freelance producer-director: to present clips and Q&A
  • Will Hayward, Wales Online & Western Mail: to present articles and Q&A

15:15   Break with refreshments

15:30   Panel 2 – Survivors panel discussion with Q&A

  • Welsh Women’s Aid (Mwenya Chimba) – Chair
  • Survivors of violence (Sophie, Katie)
  • Natasha Hirst (survivor and photojournalist)

16:45   Networking

17:30   End

17:30    (Survivors tour ITV newsroom and watch 6 o’clock news from gallery)

18:30    (End of tour for survivors)

 

[1] Mass Media influence on the attribution of culpability and the justification of gender violence, C. Herrera and F.Exposito

[2] Handle with Care: A guide to responsible media reporting of violence against women

Course Trainer

Anna Wynn Roberts

With a background in video journalism Anna was an early proponent of multi-skilling in the early 1990s, covering stories in Kosovo, North Korea, Afghanistan, Russia, Somalia and many other countries, including the UK. For five years she worked as a freelance director-camerawoman making documentaries for BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C. Most recently she was Head of Training at the Thomson Foundation in Cardiff.

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