Women's organisations hail high quality Scottish reporting for gender equality

This year’s Write to End Violence Against Women Awards showed the best examples of media coverage which challenges a society marred by misogyny 

THE WRITE to End Violence Against Women Awards announced the five winners of its 2016 competition last night as journalists, campaigners and MPs gathered to praise examples of writing which increased awareness and understanding of the impact of violence against women .

Among the winners were Libby Brooks of the Guardian, Vicky Allan of the Herald, Claire Heuchan for her work on Sister Outrider, Lucy Miller of the Glasgow Guardian and Ferret journalists Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, Lyra McKee, Karin Goodwin.

The awards which seeks to raise standards in journalism by rewarding those committed to gender equality in journalism and social coverage - also saw nominations for CommonSpace editor Angela Haggerty and columnist Anni Donaldson.

Liz Ely, co-director of Zero Tolerance, and founder of the Write to End Violence Against Women Awards said: “The influence of the media has never been more glaringly obvious than in 2016 and we know that good reporting plays a vital role in increasing understanding of violence against women.

“This year we received more submissions than ever and we are delighted to celebrate those shortlisted writers tonight. Scotland is becoming more critical of its media and these awards show that responsible, high-quality reporting on gender-based violence is not only possible but should be the norm.”

Zero Tolerance hosted the awards alongside the Sunday Herald, and were supported by women’s organisations such as Engender, White Ribbon Scotland, Everyday Victim Blaming, Women 50:50, NUJ Scotland, Scottish Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland, Women for Independence and the Scottish Refugee Council.

“The influence of the media has never been more glaringly obvious than in 2016 and we know that good reporting plays a vital role in increasing understanding of violence against women.” Liz Ely

Angela Constance, the secretary for communities, social security and equalities for the Scottish Government and Christina McKelvie SNP MP for Hamilton, Stonehouse and Larkhall attended the event and spoke of the importance of redressing the imbalance experienced by women in all area’s of life in Scotland. They congratulated the winners on being “proactive examples of how to write about the horror of violence” as well as being important voices for the women affected.

In contrast, the evening’s ‘wooden spoon’ award went to the theme of the invisible woman. This relates to the manner in which press coverage of violence against women has too often erased the very existence of the women harmed or killed. Earlier in the year, Zero Tolerance released a guide in which they laid out responsible ways to cover violence against women in the media and improvements outlets and writers could make. 

Picture courtesy of EVAW

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