On October 29, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded 50 news media professionals around the world with its debut Elevate Scholarship. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.
As a journalist working to uncover the truth and shine a light on fake news in India, Himanshi Dahiya knows all too well the gender biases facing women. Over the past year, her reporting on the growing problem of politically-motivated misinformation has made her the target of threats of sexual violence and even death — but that has only fortified her determination and commitment.
“Instead of silencing her, the targeted harassment drove her to work on ideas seeking systemic changes in how women journalists can collectively deal with this menace,” said Rita Kapur, co-founder and CEO of the Indian digital news platform The Quint, where Dahiya has worked on building a fact-checking vertical called Webqoof. “Such intimidation fails to deter Himanshi from reporting the inconvenient truths in, and about, this age of misinformation.”
In fact, Dahiya’s recent personal experiences of being threatened and discriminated against have only fueled her desire to contribute to the inclusiveness of the news media industry. Among the goals she has created for herself is to develop resources on best practices to help make the news industry more gender-sensitive and to help women flourish in a male-dominated industry.
Dahiya credits her experiences at The Quint for helping shape her vision and courage. The digital news company has more women journalists in leadership positions than the average newsroom in India, which has opened Dahiya’s eyes to the possibility of equal and equitable representation for women and other disadvantaged groups within India’s news media industry.
“This has made me understand and observe the difference which women bring to the table in a newsroom in terms of ideation and coverage of stories,” Dahiya said. “As a journalist, I aspire to not only be a part of, but also to lead, an all-women team covering gender, health, and culture in India.”
As an Elevate Scholarship recipient, Dahiya looks forward to networking with industry leaders around the world to learn from their own experiences of discrimination.
“The aim is to discover and discuss the ideas that can help introduce the concept of inclusivity to newsrooms in India,” she said. “Exposure to a global community and the right guidance from experts can help me tackle the problem at its roots.”