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15 February 2016

The Press Awards nominees are mostly white men (again)

A set of prizes rewarding individual journalists for their work over the past year has unveiled a shortlist featuring 18 per cent women, and a similarly low number of ethnic minorities.

By Media Mole

The Press Awards, overseen by the Society of Editors, have rolled around again, and they act as a depressing reminder that the UK media is still stuck in the past. 

Of the 114 individual journalists shortlisted in categories like Feature Writer or Interviewer of the Year, only 20 (17.5 per cent) were women. Last year, four of the 21 individual journalist categories were won by women, including the Georgina Henry award which can only be won by a female journalist.

This mole hasn’t dug into the backgrounds of every journalist on the list, but a quick scan of the nominees suggests the number of ethnic minority journalists awarded is even lower. The full list of nominees is available here.

Luckily, this mole hears that there may be more women welcomed on stage at this year’s event than meets the eye: last year saw women in pretty frocks helping to present awards to the mostly male winners. Every cloud, eh?

Update, 18 February: The Society Of Editors has been in touch to say that the women who helped present awards are full-time members of the events team, rather than being “hired” in. They also provided this comment from Bob Satchwell, Executive Director of the Society of Editors and chairman of the judges: “The awards do not address gender; they look for the best journalism. We work very hard to make sure the judging panels take account of gender and other diversity issues. Last year we included the Women in Journalism Georgina Henry Prize for Innovation which only women can enter. The real issue is that too few women journalists enter for the awards which is a matter for them and perhaps the papers they work for.”

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