Media Action Against Rape (MAAR) is a research and capacity building project led by Bournemouth University and UNESCO in New Delhi. Funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), MAAR is a 20-month initiative that will map the journalistic challenges of reporting rape and sexual violence across India, and build capacity to engender sustainable impact – specifically, for rape reportage, journalism education, and resilience against gendered violence towards women.
Media Action Against Rape (MAAR) is co-directed by Dr Einar Thorsen and Dr Chindu Sreedharan, both at Bournemouth University.
Ananya Gouthi is Research Assistant on MAAR, based at UNESCO in New Delhi. She recently graduated from the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts with a Bachelor’s degree, majoring in Media Studies with a minor in International Relations. Through her research projects and publications, she has demonstrated an eagerness to participate in feminist discourse and explore the role that media can play in furthering feminist efforts. Her dissertation, titled Framing Analysis of Women’s Issues in India As Covered by The Times of India, provided insights into the news media representation of key women’s issues through a content analysis of 250 articles. Another one of her feminist endeavours is the production of a three-episode feminist podcast series titled Damnsels. Having dabbled in advertising and teaching, Ananya has found that she is most driven by work that explores (and aims to dismantle) the various structural inequalities present in the world we live.
Keerthana Selvakumar is Research Assistant on MAAR, based in Chennai, currently pursuing her masters in Mass Communication. Her empathy towards fellow beings and her burning desire to tackle issues in society led her to opt for Journalism Studies at undergraduate level. She has undergone training in field reporting, news writing and feature writing, as well as training on multiple storytelling techniques. She is motivated by projects that involve fighting for the welfare of oppressed sections of society.
Mitul Joseph Koickakudy is Research Assistant on MAAR. He holds a triple major bachelor’s degree in Journalism, English literature, and Psychology, and a post-graduate degree in Media and Communication from Christ (Deemed) University, Bengaluru. He was the Coordinator of CHRIST Online Writing Lab. His postgraduate dissertation titled ‘Ranjith Films – An Episteme That Creates Discourse on Class Cast and Religion‘ was an attempt to bring under scrutiny the less-travelled path of Foucauldian and Gramscian analysis of Malayalam films. Mitul has also worked for a short stint as an Assistant Professor at St Paul’s Institute of Communication Education, Bengaluru. The knowledge and experience he has gained by working in diverse roles have fuelled his research interest in socio-political and cultural issues.
Mou Chakraborty is Research Assistant on MAAR. A journalist with more than 16 years of experience, she has worked at, among others, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Star News, Statesman, and ABP Ananda. She has covered several beats including education, defence, state administration, politics and gender issues. Mou has worked with the Department of Tourism of Govt of West Bengal and IIT Kharagpur as their editorial and media consultant. Her most-recent full-time engagement was with the Chinese Consulate in Kolkata as their Chief Advisor for Economic, Political and Media Affairs for Eastern India. Currently she is writing a book on industry in Bengal with special emphasis on textile, and also doing projects as editorial and media consultant.
Neha Kamrani is Research Assistant on MAAR. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in English literature from Delhi University, following which she went on to pursue her Master’s and MPhil at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her MPhil dissertation, New Rape Narratives in the Indian Public Sphere, focussed on fictional and non-fictional rape narratives on new media. Neha balances her contributions to MAAR with her studies at the University College Dublin, Ireland, where she is pursuing a PhD on the Portrayal of Sexual Violence on Stage: A transnational study of Irish and Indian Stage.
V S Sukanya is Research Assistant on MAAR, based in Chennai. She is interested in environment, human rights and gender issues. She formerly worked as a news trainee at Firstpost. She has travelled extensively and explored themes of organic farming, RTI, Gandhian living, urban poverty and so on, as part of her Class XI project at The School-KFI, after which she found herself getting increasingly drawn to the idea of developmental and environmental journalism. Sukanya minored in Psychology, English Literature and Journalism from Mount Carmel, Bangalore and holds a post graduate diploma from the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, where she specialised in the New Media stream.
Vatsla Srivastava is Research Assistant on MAAR. A graduate of the University of Delhi and the Asian College of Journalism, she is a member of the Intach society. She has worked at the Indian Express as a reporter for the City beat, covering urban issues, and also at Yourstory Media House, where she published more than 200 articles/feature stories, covering the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) and Indian startup ecosystem. She has a keen interest in politics, international affairs, gender issues and pop culture. Vatsla is a proud feminist, with Gloria Steinem as her idol.
C P Shruthi is Research Assistant on MAAR, based in New Delhi. She completed her bachelor’s in sociology from University of Delhi and a Master’s in Social Anthropology from SOAS, University of London. She has previously worked as a mental health researcher for The Centre on the Death Penalty (now called Project39A), where she interviewed prisoners sentenced to death in India and their families. Prior to joining MAAR, she worked as a research assistant for a public health organisation where she was involved in developing tools for qualitative interviewing and worked on increasing the intervention uptake among participants of the project. Currently she is empanelled as a trainer for Delhi police personnel where she designs and undertakes workshops on gender sensitivity. A devourer of books, sarees and anything with cinnamon in it, Shruthi enjoys ‘people watching’ and yoga.
NewsTracker is a MAAR initiative co-published by Bournemouth University (England) and Ashoka University (Sonepat), in collaboration with Amity School of Communication (Noida), Docfort Meducation (Bangalore), Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts (Pune), the Department of Journalism and Communication at University of Madras (Chennai).
NewsTracker is coordinated by Dr Chindu Sreedharan, Dr Einar Thorsen (Bournemouth University) and Professor Vaiju Naravane (Ashoka University). At Ashoka University, the project is led by Anunaya Rajhans; at Amity School of Communication by Vidhanshu Kumar; at Docfort Meducation by Anna Thomas; at Symbiosis by Ananya Dutta; and at the University of Madras by Professor Gopalan Ravindran.
Reporters and Research Assistants
Meghana G. S.
Pranati Narayan Visweswaran