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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

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Writing to end violence against women

NUJ Scotland was proud to support Zero Tolerance’s Write to End Violence Against Women awards for the fifth year running. The awards were held on 7 December at the Scottish Parliament.

Zero Tolerance has also launched guidelines on reporting domestic abuse in advance of new legislation to tackle the problem of violence against women.

The new laws, once implemented, will mean that police will be able to act where there is a course of abusive behaviour, whether it is physical, mental or psychological, and it will include coercive control.

NUJ Scotland assisted with the guidelines and material from a post on our webpage by journalist Dani Garavelli – Time to end clumsy coverage of violence against women – was quoted in the guidelines.

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Freedom of Information, Factchecking & Feminism Workshop

A women-only workshop on freedom of information, fact-checking and feminism is being held by NUJ Scotland in partnership with The Ferret and Women in Journalism Scotland to equip more women to submit FOI requests and carry out factchecks. Continue reading


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Writers in Digital Times reads well

The NUJ office in Scotland recently held an event to mark Book Week Scotland.

Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every November.

Sponsored by Digital Unions, Scottish Union Learning, and Scottish Book Trust, Writers in Digital Times brought together a number of authors to discuss their books and the writing and publishing process.

Attendees heard from Alex Gordon, Catherine Deveney, Deedee Cuddihy, Maggie Ritchie and Mark Fisher. Continue reading