Need for Women in Journalism “never been greater” says chair
Thirty years since its formation, the need for Women in Journalism (WIJ) has “never been greater” says its chair.Welcoming in WIJ’s 30th birthday year, Alison Phillips (pictured), Editor of the Daily Mirror and a board member of the Society of Editors, said that while women in more leadership positions had meant news had finally “been able to escape from the prism of the all-male gaze” more still needed to be done to build an industry better reflective of society.
She said: “There are now women editors at The Sun, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Mirror and myself at the Mirror. Deborah Turness has just been appointed as CEO of news and current affairs at the BBC, joining a raft of women in the most senior positions in British broadcast journalism. On screen there has been huge focus on ensuring gender balance.
“With women in more leadership positions women viewers and readers have stories written and edited by people like them. Our concerns, passions and furies have found their way into the public arena because women journalists have taken them there. News has finally been able to escape from the prism of the all-male gaze.”
Despite considerable progress, women are still more likely to lose out, be on insecure work contracts and find it more challenging to get to the top, said Phillips. In addition to this, social media bullying and trolling is heavily targeted at women.
She added: “Journalists who are black or from minority ethnic groups have had an even harder, longer fight for representation in our industry. They are also frequently subjected to the online attacks which seek to silence them.
“These are now, as there always have been, many people who want women and their stories to be silenced.
“We’ve done so much 30 years on from our founding, but there is still much more to do. Women in Journalism want to continue to support and inspire, to campaign and promote the work of women and all those who are underrepresented in the media so together we can build an industry which fairly reflects our readers, our viewers and our society.”
Read more here.