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Where are all the women?

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As funding for NUJ Scotland’s Stronger Voice for Women in the Media project comes to an end, it’s important to recognise the many achievements of women journalists in Scotland, but there’s still much work to be done – by Fiona Davidson, women’s project worker.

Women are still outnumbered by men in the media – especially in senior editorial roles – but women are making their mark and being heard, more so than ever.

While there are still few women at the top, Mandy Rhodes is the editor of the leading Scottish political Holyrood Magazine, Catriona MacInnes is acting editor of the Dundee Courier, Suzanne Lord is deputy head of news at STV, Jackie Newton is editor of Reporting Scotland, Shelley Jofre is editor of BBC Scotland Investigations and Nicole Kleeman is managing director of leading independent production company Firecrest Films, to name a few.

Women journalists are making their mark in the workplace too with more MoCs (mothers of the chapel) and equality reps ensuring women’s voices are heard.  Within the National Union of Journalists we have increased representation of women on the Scottish Executive Council and union/black activist Layla-Roxanne Hill will be the first woman to represent Scotland on the NUJ’s National Executive Council for several years when she takes up her role later this month.

So women in the media in Scotland certainly have a stronger voice, and the launch of Women in Journalism Scotland just over a year ago can take much of the credit for that.  In fact it was the launch of WIJ Scotland that inspired NUJ Scotland’s Stronger Voice for Women in the Media project, funded by the STUC via the Government’s Trade Union, Fair Work and Modernisation Fund.

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Online abuse of women journalists is a major threat to free speech and democracy

By Fiona Davidson, project worker, A Stronger Voice for Women in the Media

Women journalists are no strangers to violence – in the newsroom, on the front line and in cyberspace.  In fact online abuse is a growing problem for journalists and the nature directed at women is particularly vile, insidious and threatening.

However cyberbullying of women journalists is not merely a gender issue.  It is silencing women at a time when women in the media need to be heard.  And if it means journalists are avoiding certain stories, that is a major problem for free speech and democracy.

Violence is not part of the job
World Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was on 25 November, marking the start of 16 days of activism. Continue reading


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News Blackout – Why Aren’t Black British Women Treated Fairly In the Media?

Layla-Roxanne Hill was invited by NUJ Scotland to write an article about women and the media as part of the Stronger Voice for Women in the Media project.  The aim of the project is to improve representation of women working in the media and how women are represented by the media.

She is a campaigner, writer and speaker with a focus on race, gender and the Black Scottish experience.  In addition, she sits on the STUC Black Workers’ Committee, the National Union of Journalists’ Black Members’ Council and Scottish Executive Council as Black Members’ Representative. She is also a co-founder of  @YonAfro, a collective of women of colour aiming to enhance representation, improve visibility and provide support of women of colour in Scotland.

 

Despite the work seemingly being done to address the (mis)representation of Black British women, we are still being treated unfairly throughout the media landscape. Our stories, experiences and issues are continuously being told through a white lens which often fails to provide an accurate representation, or lend its focus to race. Continue reading