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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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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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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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NUJ Scotland welcomes Engender’s Gender Matters Roadmap and call for end to sexism in the media #ScotFemFuture #NUJ

NUJ Scotland welcomes Engender’s Gender Matters Roadmap for Scotland and its work tackling the impact of sexism on all women regardless of ability, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or background.

“The media has an important role to play in shaping public attitudes and is hugely influential in maintaining stereotypical views about women,” said Fiona Davidson, women’s project worker, with NUJ Scotland, a project to improve the representation of women working in the media and how women are portrayed by the media.

“The public’s stereotypical attitudes about gender roles are often perpetuated and reinforced by the media.  This is particularly blatant when it comes to reporting violence against women and the prevalence of ‘victim blaming’. Continue reading


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Glass ceilings and concrete walls – challenges facing black/ethnic minority women in Scotland’s media industry

Jamilah A Hassan, journalist, blogger and member of the Yon Afro Collective, writes about possible solutions to the problems facing black and ethnic minority women trying to break into the media industry as part of the Stronger Voice for Women in the Media project.  The Yon Afro Collective (@YonAfro) exists to enhance representation, improve visibility and provide support to women of colour in Scotland.

 Many women hit the glass ceiling when it comes to career progression, but for black and ethnic minority women we have to smash our way through the concrete walls to even get into the structure.  Then there’s a higher chance we’ll get stuck on the sticky floors. Continue reading


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A Stronger Voice for Women in the Media – event round-up

Women journalists shared their working life experiences at an event as part of the NUJs Stronger Voice for Women in the Media project held at the University of Strathclyde.

The common theme emerging from all speakers was that women shouldn’t be on their own when challenging employment, sexism and equality issues and that they should support each other wherever they worked.

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