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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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There was lots of banter at the Stronger Voice for Women in the Media’s equality quiz night, compered by Scottish organiser Dominic Bascombe.

All images copyright Elaine Livingstone Photography @elainelivphoto

But there was also a very serious message conveyed by both speakers, Layla-Roxanne Hill and Anna Burnside, that there’s still a lot to be done to improve the representation of women in the media. Continue reading


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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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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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#StopMediaSexism

Do you think there’s a problem of sexism in the media?  You can call it out here.

Have you been subjected to sexism or harassment in your job as a journalist?

You’ve maybe been told to present a story in a certain way, an inappropriate headline has been added, or your material has been edited changing the emphasis.
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NUJ sponsor best news article category in Write to End Violence Against Women Awards

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The NUJ is delighted to be sponsoring an award at this year’s Write to End Violence Against Women Awards.

The NUJ has been supporting the awards since their launch and this year, the fifth year, will be sponsoring the ‘Best Article – News’ category.

The union has been working to shine a light on the issue of women’s representation both by the media and in the media.

Violence against women is often in the news, especially now. It is on a spectrum ranging from victim blaming, locker room banter and sexist attitudes to violence, rape and murder.

Even apart from recent and current events, its prevalence in society makes it a ‘hot topic’ for reporters and its complex nature makes it an interesting issue for feature writers. However, the fact that violence against women is so complex can mean that even journalists with the best of intentions can misrepresent some of the issues and perpetuate myths that are harmful to women. Continue reading


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STUC women back NUJ campaign to stop media sexism

Delegates at the STUC women’s conference unanimously backed an NUJ motion to improve representation of women in the press and stop media sexism.

The motion calls on women and trade unionists to fight back and call out examples of poor treatment of women by the media and to press for responsible reporting standards demonstrating respect for women, eliminating objectification and sexualisation and focusing on their ideas, abilities and achievements rather than their appearance, personal life and how they dress.

The conference was held in Glenrothes, Fife from 30 to 31 October 2017.  Freelance journalist Claire Sawers of Edinburgh freelance branch moved the motion on behalf of the NUJ.

She said “We at the NUJ share the same frustrations as our sisters here. We find ourselves back, once again, talking about the various ways that our colleagues in the media continue to misrepresent women. Each of you will have examples, sometimes very recent ones, of ways that women are sexualised, blamed, humiliated and discriminated against.

“The problem doesn’t only apply to women being reported on in the media. It affects women employed in the media too. Continue reading