Melanie Reid to speak at WIJ Scotland AGM

All Women in Journalism Scotland members are warmly invited to this year’s AGM, which will take place at 7pm on Wednesday 1st May in the Tron Theatre, Glasgow.

We’re delighted to be welcoming guest speaker, award-winning journalist and author Melanie Reid, who will be in conversation with WIJ Scotland committee member Jan Patience about her fantastic new memoir The World I Fell Out Of.

We will also be celebrating WIJ Scotland’s work in the previous year and electing new office-bearers. Many of our current office-bearers are stepping down after a few years in their positions, so we encourage all members to think about standing.

Our current office-bearer positions are: Chairs x2, Secretaries x2, Treasurers x2, Social Media x2 and Events x2. All members are also always welcome to contribute as non-office bearing committee members with no election required. If you’d like more information about any of the positions, just email us and we’ll be happy to help. If you can’t make it to our AGM but would like to put yourself forward, let us know.

For full details of our AGM and to book your free place, please see our Eventbrite listing

We look forward to seeing you on May 1!

May Meet-Ups: Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness


Fancy a chance to network and socialise with other women working in the media, comms and PR? Join us for one of four informal meet-up events happening throughout the country on Thursday May 10. No need to book – just turn up and find us. Want to organise a meet-up in your area? Get in touch!

Thursday May 10, 7pm, Duke’s Corner, 13 Brown Street, Dundee DD1 5EG
Organised by Catriona McPhee of STV

Thursday May 10, 6pm, Hemma, 75 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AE‬

Thursday, May 10, 6.30pm, Citizen M, 60 Renfrew Street G2 3BW
Organised by Guardian journalist and WIJ Scotland co-chair Libby Brooks.

Thursday May 10, 6pm, Bar One, 1 Academy Street, Inverness, IV1 1JU.
Organised by STV News Highlands and Island reporter Nicola McAlley.

Dani Garavelli wins the inaugural Nicola Barry Award

Dani Garavelli is presented with the Nicola Barry Award by Austin Lafferty, chair of the Scottish Press Awards

DANI Garavelli has been announced as the winner of the inaugural Nicola Barry Award at this year’s Scottish Press Awards ceremony.

This new peer-led prize aims to encourage the kind of elegant prose and campaigning reportage for which the late Nicola Barry, an award-winning columnist and feature writer, was renowned.

The award has been established by Women in Journalism Scotland, and was presented to Ms Garavelli, a freelance journalist who writes a regular column for Scotland on Sunday, by Nicola Barry’s husband, Alastair Murray. Nicola Barry died in January 2017 at the age of 66.

The runner-up was Sunday Post reporter Marion Scott.

Presenting the award, Murray, who is also a journalist, said: “It would be easy to ask for an award for every journalist who dies, but there are so few of us who could legitimately be described as exceptional, brilliant even. And those words apply to Nicola Barry.

“She was an ardent feminist long before it was fashionable and an advocate of women’s rights. She spoke out against injustice in the workplace and in the wider world through her columns.

“I see many of the same traits in the writing of Dani Garavelli, who in her writing, combines insight and passion with equal fluency.”

Women in Journalism Scotland co-chair Libby Brooks said: “Nicola Barry was a much-admired columnist, and in Dani Garavelli we found a writer whose depth of analysis, range of subject matter and quality of prose likewise set her apart.

“It’s acknowledged that Garavelli is one of the finest columnists writing for the Scottish press today of either gender. Never polemical for the sake of it, always intelligent and considered, Garavelli’s approach to her chosen subjects is as humane as it is illuminating.”

Of runner-up Marion Scott, Brooks, said: “Nicola Barry made it her business to amplify the voices of those who had not been heard by the establishment or the public.

“Marion Scott’s tenacious reporting of the Denise Clair rape case, from its early days, was a prime example of doing just that, and sticking with a story despite the odds. In the end, she saw her subject win a significant legal victory, which has set a challenging precedent for rape law in Scotland.”

Shelley Jofre, Investigations Editor at BBC Scotland and co-chair of Women in Journalism Scotland, said: “This award is exactly the kind of thing which Women in Journalism Scotland was set up to achieve.

“Since our launch by the First Minister in November 2016, our membership continues to grow. We’ve held a series of successful events aimed at helping boost the skills, knowledge and confidence of women journalists working across Scotland.

“Stronger Voice for Women on Air training events have been held in both Glasgow and Dundee, and WiJ Scotland has been a partner in the BBC’s prestigious Expert Women Scotland programme, an integral part of the broadcaster’s aim to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by April 2019.

“We have also held networking events across Scotland, with more in the pipeline. Our aim is to create an easy-to-access database of women experts which we hope will become the essential go-to guide for all broadcasters in Scotland.

“Since WiJ Scotland started up, there has been a sea-change in the way in which women’s voices are heard. As an organisation, we will continue to lobby for change and, most importantly, offer support for women in the media at every stage of their career.”

John McLellan, director of the Scottish Newspaper Society, said: “Having worked with them both, Dani Garavelli is a very worthy first winner of the Nicola Barry Award.

“I know from personal experience that Nicola was a very special talent and her empathy for the dispossessed, vulnerable and excluded shone through in her writing.

“The SNS is delighted to be working with Women in Journalism to encourage new female writers and to keep Nicola’s memory alive.”

Closing the Gender Gap – event on January 11

In 2017, the CIPR’s State of the Profession research showed that women in PR are on average paid £5,784 a year less than men. What can be done to address the Gender Gap, how has the #MeToo campaign changed perceptions and what are the biggest opportunities and challenges for women in 2018?

This CIPR Scotland panel event is hosted in partnership with Women in Journalism Scotland. The event will be chaired by Jenifer Stirton, Chair of CIPR Scotland.

Joining us for an evening of discussion are Sarah Hall (CIPR UK President in 2018), Eve Livingstone (Co-Secretary of Women in Journalism Scotland & freelance journalist) and Juliet Simpson (Chair of Mind the Gap Scotland part of the Marketing Society & CEO of Stripe Communications).

Guests will be given an opportunity to ask panel members questions about the Gender Gap in Scotland and their hopes for the future. Join us for an evening of lively discussion and informal networking on Thursday 11 January at The Dome in Edinburgh.

It will be a lively and interactive session. To help shape the event, we are asking all participants to email at least one question in advance to after booking this event.

Wine, soft drinks and nibbles will be provided.

Places are limited so book your space quickly via Eventbrite to avoid disappointment.


Sexism in the media – a plan for action

Last weekend, Scotland’s feminist organisation Engender launched its Gender Matters Road Map at Scotland’s Feminist Future, a two-day conference in Glasgow. The Road Map is a plan for action designed to significantly reduce gender inequality by 2030, and one of its key aspirations is for “a media full of women’s voices”.

Here’s what it has to say on representation, which has been a key focus for Women in Journalism Scotland since our group’s establishment last year:

Men’s over-representation across the media and creative industries is reflected in widespread stereotyping of women and lack of gender balance in print, on the airwaves and on screen. The portrayal of women across media, popular culture and the arts is damagingly limited, especially for disabled women, minority ethnic women, older women, lesbian, bisexual and trans women.

Both the media and creative industries have immense power to shape the way society views women’s worth and both play a part in perpetuating damaging gender stereotypes which undermine women’s equality. Creativity is not dependent on gender and yet there is marked under-representation of women both in production and visible roles.

So how can we work towards solving these problems? Engender proposes that “the Scottish Government, Creative Scotland and other bodies should work together to”:

  • Creative and resource a Scottish “Women in Media Body”
  • Use data to create benchmarks of portrayals of women and women’s participation
  • Enable gender balance in employment and diversity in representation via public funding programmes and media regulation

The good news is that Scotland already has a women in media body: Women in Journalism Scotland! And we’ve already started working on increasing women’s representation, with training focused on boosting women’s representation on TV and radio and plans for registers to help connect editors not only with media professionals but ultimately also with women experts in other fields.

In a workshop at the conference titled “Bras in the Tardis”: What could a women in media body look like?, the discussion focused on two areas: how women’s representation can be monitored, and what tools will be needed to improve the make change. Women in Journalism Scotland would like to carry on this conversation – what form of monitoring do you think would capture gender-equality deficits in the Scottish media and what tools do you think we need to make positive change?


The Global Media Monitoring Project carries out a survey of news media once every five years, relying on an army of volunteers in countries around the world

In recent years Women for Independence have carried out their own smaller-scale monitoring exercise, #WFIMediaWatch

What should we seek to monitor? Is it enough to count bylines in publications, or the number of women contributors to discussions on TV, radio and podcasts – or do we also need to look at the number of columns inches or broadcast minutes? Perhaps we need to ask what women are writing and talking about, and what prominence their voices are given.

Should the focus be on women journalists and experts, or should monitoring be widened to look at how women are represented in news stories, features, documentaries, and works of fiction? In all of these forms of media, are we interested in monitoring how often women appear, are quoted or are mentioned, or do we also want to analyse what gendered messages are being communicated by the use of adjectives, images or maybe even camera angles?


Ideas proposed included: a media literacy toolkit; a feminist fact-checking service; guidance for media organisations similar to Zero Tolerance’s Handle with Care guide; and an app to crowd-source evidence of gender bias on panels.

As is necessary in virtually any conversation about women in media, the problem of online abuse and harassment was raised. This, along with women’s reluctance to view themselves as “experts”, was cited a a key reason why women may not put themselves forward to appear in the media, or may decline an invitation to contribute. In light of this, who should take or share responsibility for supporting women in dealing with any backlash? The media organisations themselves? Unions? Employers such as charities, universities and trade organisations? It may not be possible to completely mitigate against the negative consequences of women putting their heads above the parapet, but we can certainly try.

What do you think? What kind of media monitoring would you like to see in Scotland, and what tools do you think are required to a) increase the number of women represented and b) tackle sexist representations of women more generally?

A Stronger Voice for Women On Air

We all know there are not enough women’s voices on the air – so Women in Journalism Scotland is taking action.

We’ve organised a day of coaching, thanks to BBC and STV, aimed at women journalists working in print, online and digital who’d like broadcast experience.

The day commences with an introduction and lunch, followed by a session on confidence and resilience by EY Partner Tricia Nelson. Tricia will also address the concerns many women may have about broadcasting and about putting themselves forward as experts.

Lynsey Bews, a political journalist from the Press Association, who is often called on as a commentator by broadcasters, will also add her input.

After that session, participants will be split into groups and will get the chance to do 2 out of 3 hour-long sessions: being part of a radio panel discussion in studio; being interviewed live in front of a remote tv camera (both of these sessions at the BBC); being part of a tv panel discussion in studio (at STV).

The afternoon will conclude with a debrief and some networking drinks at the BBC, to which BBC and STV senior producers will be invited to meet participants.

A Stronger Voice for Women On Air is on Friday, June 16 2017 from 12.30pm to 6pm at BBC Scotland, Pacific Quay, Glasgow.

Your £20 fee entitles you to membership of Women in Journalism Scotland and an opportunity to attend further networking, training and campaigning events for women who work in the media. Existing members can attend free.

Register via Eventbrite.

Introducing Women in Journalism Scotland

  • Women in Journalism Scotland represents women in Scotland at every stage of their careers, across print, broadcast online and digital media and communications and PR work. WIJ Scotland is a non-party-affiliated campaigning, networking and training organisation.


Office Bearers

Co-Chairs: Shelley Jofre; Nicole Kleeman (maternity cover for Libby Brooks)

Co-Treasurers: Brenda Paterson; Emily Rodway

Co-Secretaries: Louise Wilson; Eve Livingston

Launch night!

Thursday 3rd November 2016, saw the launch of Women in Journalism Scotland, with nearly a hundred women from media old and new, written and broadcast, congregating in Glasgow for an evening of conversation and inspiration as well as some pretty impressive wine and snacks thanks to sponsor EY.

Like its London-based big sister, WiJ Scotland hopes to be a networking, campaigning, training and social organisation for women journalists who work across all media in Scotland, whatever your age or stage. Full membership costs just £20 a year, and student and non-working membership costs £10. Click here to join.

First off, thanks to everybody who pitched up and made it such a terrific evening. It was great to see so many fabulous women in one room, putting faces to bylines, swapping stories and survival tips, and generally reminding one another that together we’re a force to be reckoned with.

Also huge apologies to those who missed out on tickets: the organisers simply hadn’t banked on it being so darned popular, and please, please email or tweet us at the addresses below for follow-up info on how to get involved. We want to hear from as many women as possible about what members would like to get from WiJ Scotland.

The evening included a panel discussion, hosted by the BBC’s Shelley Jofre, with NUJ Scotland’s Fiona Davidson and EY director Tricia Nelson as well as first minister Nicola Sturgeon. Fiona spoke about the importance of collective action in equal pay disputes. Tricia discussed the importance of networking – a word plenty of women in to room admitted to feeling a bit allergic to.

Questions for the First Minister ranged from her attitude to positive discrimination and whether the gender of the UK Prime Minister made any difference to their interactions, to her social media policy: for those in doubt, she writes all her own tweets and has (just about) managed to stick to her self-imposed rule of not taking to Twitter after a glass of wine.

It was particularly interesting to hear Ms Sturgeon discuss in detail what difference she felt it made to women politicians having women represented so poorly amongst Scottish political reporters – with a few notable exceptions of course, including the Times’ Scottish political editor and now the whole of Press Association’s Holyrood team.

Thanks to Libby Brooks of The Guardian and Nicole Kleeman of Firecrest Films who helped Shelley Jofre get WiJ Scotland to the starting block and, of course, the amazing Kate McMillan who coped admirably with the never-ending demand for tickets and helped the whole thing run smoothly from London. None of it would have happened though without the gentle but persistent nudging of Julia Gregory who first floated the idea with Shelley 4 years ago!

So what’s next? Well, last night’s attendees – and indeed everyone who wants one – will be getting an email with further details about joining WiJ Scotland, how to get involved in the organising committee and asking for your thoughts on what kind of workshops or speakers would inspire you.