New media outlet sets out to raise gender balance in Scottish journalism
WOMEN in Scotland are set to carve out a bigger voice in the media, prose and publishing sectors.
The political and cultural media outlet Bella Caledonia has today [Tuesday 22 November] launched a network for women writers to promote greater gender balance in Scotland’s alternative media.
Organisers also hope that the database system that they have created will encourage more women to take up writing and broadcasting and create a space for women to challenge the abuse and silencing of women’s opinions on the internet.
Heather McDaid, the network coordinator for the project said: "Having worked across multiple areas in Scottish media, I'm looking forward to being able to work on creating this database and building a network for women writers from the press to prose.
“There's been a lot of support already from discussions at journalism and publishing events in the planning stages, and I hope that now it's launching it will go a long way to new female voices helping shape conversations and commentary across the media."
“I hope that now it's launching it will go a long way to new female voices helping shape conversations and commentary across the media." Heather McDaid
The project will gather and organise writers’ contact details in a searchable database between today and International Women's Day on March 8 2017. It comes at a time when there has been concerns over the access of women to participation in the arena of journalism. The group Women in Journalism (WIJ) Scotland was joined by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier this month in its aim to help in the training and support for women journalists.
Also commenting on the launch, Bella editor Mike Small added: "Shifting the emphasis from focusing on online abuse to taking action to reclaim the public sphere of new and social media is a key aim of this project. Too often the 'alt media' just replicates the same forms, bias and structures of the old media. Changing the gender structure of the alternative Scottish media is key not only to facilitating greater participation but also changing the tone and narrative of public debate."
Picture of courtesy of Sarah Ross
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