About the Lecture
The shocking and tragic assassination of Gauri Lankesh serves as a grim reminder of the grave and present threats to freedom of expression (of which media freedom is a part) in general and the dangers faced by individual journalists attempting to speak truth to power in particular. However, there are a number of other ongoing, insidious challenges to media freedom and independent journalism that may not be very obvious to even those members of the public who follow the news in print, on television or online. Yet media freedom is an essential part of democracy, a prerequisite if citizens are to enjoy their rights to freedom of expression and information. So what ails the media today should be of concern to everyone who would like India to remain a functioning democracy. It is time more citizens became aware that they have a stake in media freedom.
About the Speaker
Ammu Joseph is an independent journalist and author based in Bangalore, writing primarily on issues relating to gender, human development, the media and culture. With degrees in English Literature (Madras University) and Public Communications (Syracuse University), she began her career with Eve's Weekly in Mumbai/Bombay in 1977. In her last full-time job within the press she was editor of the Sunday magazine of The Indian Post, Mumbai. Her publications include six books (a few of which are co-authored): Whose News? The Media and Women's Issues, Women in Journalism: Making News, Storylines: Conversations with Women Writers, Just Between Us: Women Speak about their Writing, Interior Decoration: Poems by 54 Women in 10 Languages and Terror, Counter-Terror: Women Speak Out. She has contributed to several other books and publications, both Indian and international, including several UNESCO documents. She received the UNFPA-LAADLI Media Award for Gender Sensitivity in 2007 "in recognition of her consistent engagement with gender issues." In 2003 she received the Donna Allen Award for Feminist Advocacy from the AEJMC, USA. She has been on the visiting faculty of several institutions of media education and is a founder-member of the Network of Women in Media, India as well as Media Watch Bengaluru.