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#PasstheMic - where are the women of colour in Scottish news?

by Professor Karen Boyle and Melody House at the University of Strathclyde, and Talat Yaqoob founder of Pass the Mic.

Pass the Mic is a project focusing on women of colour in Scottish news media. Initially an online database of women of colour experts, thanks to funding from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, from 2020-21 the project has expanded to undertake direct work with women of colour experts and media partners STV, The Herald, Sunday National, Daily Record, Scotsman, Courier and Holyrood magazine to challenge exclusionary cultures within news media and create a platform for the expertise of women of colour. This funding has also enabled them to undertake research to establish baseline information about where women of colour currently appear in Scottish news media in partnership with Gender Equal Media Scotland.

Read the previous blogs in the series here:

#PasstheMic - a week in Scotland's news

by Professor Karen Boyle and Melody House at the University of Strathclyde, and Talat Yaqoob founder of Pass the Mic.

Pass the Mic is a project focusing on women of colour in Scottish news media. Initially an online database of women of colour experts, thanks to funding from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, from 2020-21 the project has expanded to undertake direct work with women of colour experts and media partners STV, The Herald, Sunday National, Daily Record, Scotsman, Courier and Holyrood magazine to challenge exclusionary cultures within news media and create a platform for the expertise of women of colour. This funding has also enabled them to undertake research to establish baseline information about where women of colour currently appear in Scottish news media in partnership with Gender Equal Media Scotland.

Read the previous blogs in the series here:

#PasstheMic - researching women of colour in Scottish news

by Professor Karen Boyle and Melody House at the University of Strathclyde, and Talat Yaqoob founder of Pass the Mic.

Pass the Mic is a project focusing on women of colour in Scottish news media. Initially an online database of women of colour experts, thanks to funding from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, from 2020-21 the project has expanded to undertake direct work with women of colour experts and media partners STV, The Herald, Sunday National, Daily Record, Scotsman, Courier and Holyrood magazine to challenge exclusionary cultures within news media and create a platform for the expertise of women of colour. This funding has also enabled them to undertake research to establish baseline information about where women of colour currently appear in Scottish news media in partnership with Gender Equal Media Scotland.

It’s All About That Bass: Women’s voices on radio

By Melody House, University of Strathclyde

Women, particularly when they are public figures, are often strongly criticised for the way they speak and sound. From Margaret Thatcher, who has been described as transforming her voice from that of a ‘shrill housewife’ to a more refined Prime Minister, to Hillary Clinton, voice is yet another gendered way in which women are judged. During the 2016 US Presidential Elections, so much attention was focused on Clinton’s ‘screechy’ voice that it inspired The Atlantic to release a video titled, ‘The Science Behind Hating Hillary’s Voice’. This was accompanied by numerous articles, news shows, and think pieces, all concerned with why Clinton’s voice was so annoying. But she’s not the only one. Increasingly, professional women are seeking out voice coaches in order to ‘correct’ their speech. The most common adjustment is to lower their pitch.

From Guilt Trips to Cat Fights: Gender stereotypes in Brexit news

By Melody House, University of Strathclyde

It is no secret that media reporting around women is problematic. From ‘page 3 girls’ to racist and sexist articles about the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, British media has a history of belittling, stereotypical writing on women. This is especially true when women occupy roles that traditionally ‘belong’ to someone else. It’s part of why we see the bad press surrounding Markle, as well as the sexist and often demeaning reporting of women in conventionally ‘male’ professions.

As such, when Gender Equal Media Scotland (GEMS) tasked me with monitoring news around Brexit, I was intrigued to see what I would find. GEMS asked me to monitor the news around Brexit for three days (14-16 January 2019), and present my findings in a series of blogs. My first blog focused on the statistical representation of women in the Brexit media. Here, I will focus on both the good and bad journalistic practice I came across in those three days.

Tweets @EqualMediaScot

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