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NUJ Ian Bell award winners

Winners of the Ian Bell ‘New Writing’ award were presented with their prizes at a lively session on ‘The Importance of Good Journalism’ at the Aye Write Book Festival on Saturday.  The award was set up in memory of radical journalist Ian Bell, who died in 2015, by his family and the Edinburgh Branch of the National Union of Journalists of which he was a member.

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It’s Just Banter – An event by the Stronger Voice for Women in the Media project with equality-theme quiz on music, movies & facts

It’s Just Banter is an evening of fun with a serious message.* There’s a quiz on equality issues, music and movies, along with some exciting speakers.

It’s being organised as part of NUJ Scotland’s Stronger Voice for Women in the Media project to improve the representation of women in the media and by the media and to end media sexism.

Questions about voice, opportunity, security, fulfillment and respect – the five key principles of the Fair Work Framework, will figure largely – so start thinking about songs that represent these themes. Respect is an easy one to start with.

There’s also wine, and food. And it’s free!

It’s downstairs at Rhoderick Dhu’s, 21 Waterloo Street (near Central Station), Glasgow G2 6BZ from 6.30 for a 7pm start on Wednesday 21 March.  Sign up via Eventbrite here.

*What some see as banter, others see as sexual abuse or harassment.

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Brand Me – Confidence-building course for women in the media

The working life of a woman in the media can be precarious.  Many are on zero hours contracts, casual workers, freelance, part-time or on fixed term contracts.  So they have to continuously sell themselves and their skills, to get work, to survive.

Work is often allocated on a “who you know” basis, in other words “jobs for the boys” who meet up on the golf course, the football terraces or the pub.  Macho environments still prevail in some newsrooms and women’s voices are drowned out as the men are louder.

Additionally, women are known for not blowing their own trumpet enough.  They tend to undersell themselves, seeing the negatives rather than the positives.

That’s why they need help to up their game in the confidence stakes from someone who knows the industry from the inside. Continue reading

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Everyday Media Law – a course covering court reporting, Twitter spats and reporting violence against women

*Course date Tuesday 27 March – email to attend.

Media law can be a minefield for the uninitiated – from reporting court cases to Twitter spats escalating into acrimonious and vicious personal attacks.

Reporting violence against women can be particularly problematic and it can be a fine balancing act between reporting matters sensitively and remaining within the law.

That’s why the media can be ultra-cautious in how they report cases when criminal proceedings are live.  Under Scots law, everyone is presumed innocent until convicted so they are only accused of offences and they have to be reported as allegations until there is a conviction. Continue reading

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Scotland media diversity

NUJ Scotland is looking for people of colour in Scotland that are actively creating media content. You could be a blogger, vlogger, broad/podcaster or citizen journalist. If you are involved in media, we’d like to hear from you to discuss an exciting project.

Please email: dominicb@ or call 0141 248 6648


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#Useitpayforit- NUJ campaign for photographers

#Useitpayforit is the hashtag for an NUJ campaign to encourage amateurs to understand the value of the photographs and videos they provide to news organisations in a month of action in February 2018.

We need to raise the awareness of the issue with amateur photographers and videographers who, by giving their work away for nothing, are undermining professional photographers and the worth of good photographs and videos. If an image is good enough to be published or broadcast, it is good enough to be paid for. Continue reading

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Making headlines – why language matters when reporting violence against women – by Kirsty Strickland

Journalist Kirsty Strickland (@kirstystricklan) writes for NUJ Scotland about the importance of use of language in news headlines to raise awareness of violence against women and dispel common myths and misconceptions as part of the Stronger Voice for Women in the Media project.

In the aftermath of the harassment scandal sparked by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein a movement emerged which dominated the news agenda for the latter part of 2017.

One of the most powerful and influential elements of this news coverage was the clear link made between men abusing power and wider structural inequality. Inevitably, what followed was a predictable and misogynistic suggestion that women who spoke out may be lying or maliciously over-reacting to their experiences to gain fame or money. Broadly speaking though, the power dynamic of the individuals involved (and the imbalance between them) was discussed and analysed meaningfully across various media platforms.

For women, this wasn’t new information. We understand that violence against women is both a cause and consequence of gender inequality. But for media outlets to make this connection and dedicate time to discussing it properly was something new and refreshing.

It’s important to acknowledge though, that had the initial story not focused on the conduct of famous men it’s unlikely that the women speaking out about harassment and sexual abuse would have been given such a receptive audience. Continue reading