Journalists warn of inappropriate media reporting on violence against women

NEWS 06.08.2020 12:22

The Journalists against Violence against Women group warned that Serbian media revealed the identities of victims of domestic violence.

The group’s report for 2019, drafted with support from UNDP Serbia, said that in more than half the reports on domestic violence, the identities of the women victims and their family members were revealed and added that in about 40 percent of the reports stereotypes were used and that more than a third included details of the acts of violence or murders and statements not relevant to the case.  

A UNDP press release said that photographs and videos were used inappropriately in 28 percent of cases. It said that violence against women was covered mainly by portals (60 percent) and print media (34 percent) with TV and radio stations accounting for just six percent of those reports.  

“The report analyzed more than 11,000 reports in electronic and print media in 2019, tracking the principles of professional reporting,” a press release said and added that in 45 percent of cases those principles were violated in the headlines. It said that 78 percent of the reports were on individual cases with little attention devoted to the overall problem of violence against women with focus on prevention, social context and support.  

The UNDP warned that inappropriate reporting turns violence into something normal, inflicts more harm on victims and added that responsible reporting can provide support to women victims of violence.  

The group drafted Guidelines on Media Reporting on Violence against Women to help improve the quality of reporting.