This episode was recorded as a live broadcast on 15 March 2022
Across the UK and much of Europe, women make up around half of the number of journalists, and more women than men are now choosing journalism as a career. In a special live discussion in honour of International Women’s Day, we’ll be asking what this means for media coverage and how stories are told, with some of the UK and the EU’s leading female voices.
Join us on 15 March 2022 from 14:00 – 15:30 in Central London (address provided upon registration), when we’ll be asking – how has the recent rise of women in journalism impacted agenda setting in the news industry?
Despite this rise, women are still under-represented in media ownership, information production, and in decision-making editorial positions. Male journalists still dominate the news, business, and comment sections, and there remains a lack of parity in the coverage and the portrayal of men and women in the media.
At this event we’ll ask the significance of the gender of a discourse leader, and its impact on the narrative, the telling, and editorial direction of a story. Delving into both print and online journalism, we’ll ask whether rising numbers of women editors in the media industry results in more nuanced coverage – and what the challenges are to women online and on social media. Our expert panel of leading women in journalism will share some of the positive steps made in recent years, and reflect on how to challenge established ways of thinking in their industry.
On the panel:
Beth Rigby – Beth is Political Editor at Sky News. She has worked as a political journalist for nearly a decade, covering two general elections, the Scottish independence and EU referendums, and all the twists and turns of Brexit. Beth has interviewed the biggest names in British politics, from Theresa May to Tony Blair, as well as breaking exclusive stories around cabinet reshuffles, splits and the Brexit crisis. Before joining Sky, Beth worked as a newspaper journalist for nearly two decades at The Times and Financial Times, where she held a variety of positions including media editor, deputy political editor and consumer industries editor. A former financial journalist, she won awards for her work as the Financial Times’ retail correspondent and hedge fund writer.
Alison Phillips – Alison is deputy editor-in-chief of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People. Alison began her career in journalism as a reporter at the Harlow Star in 1993. She joined Trinity Mirror as deputy features editor for the Sunday People magazine in 1998, before becoming features editor for the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People. In 2004 Alison became assistant editor of the Daily Mirror, before being appointed editor of the Sunday Mirror in 2012. She added editorship of the Sunday People to her responsibilities in 2014. Alison is also Chair of Women in Journalism.
Megha Mohan – Megha is the BBC World Service’s first global gender and identity correspondent. She covers issues concerning race and ethnicity, women’s rights and LGBT communities for the BBC’s 42 language services to an audience of over 400 million. She has travelled to and reported from six continents and secured exclusive interviews, including the BBC’s first interview with Prime Minister Sanna Marin, with Finland’s all-women coalition government, and with Samoa’s first woman Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa. Megha is a deployment journalist who files longform original features for BBC World TV, radio, online and social media. She also co-founded The Second Source, which aims to democratise London media and provide access for young women from non-traditional backgrounds into journalism.
Stefanie Bolzen – Stefanie is the UK and Ireland correspondent for German broadsheets WELT and WELT am Sonntag. An award-winning writer, Stefanie is a regular commentator for British and international media on Brexit and European politics. Prior to taking up her London role, Stefanie was WELT’s Europe Correspondent in Brussels, covering EU and NATO affairs. She started her journalistic career as a foreign news editor in Berlin, reporting on EU enlargement and the Balkan conflicts. Stefanie holds an M.A. in Modern History and trained at Axel Springer, Europe’s largest publishing house. She is alumna of the Milena Jesenská Fellowship and the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship.
Suzanne Franks – Suzanne is a former BBC TV broadcaster who is now Professor of Journalism at City, University of London where she was until recently Head of the Department. Her books include Africa’s Media Image in the Twenty First Century and Reporting Disasters: Famine, Aid, Politics and the Media, Having None of it: Women, Men and the Future of Work and Women and Journalism. She leads a research project at City University on the role of women experts in the broadcast media and was a partner in the recently completed EU HORIZON2020 QUEST project investigating the state of science journalism.
Deborah Bonetti – Deborah is the Director of the Foreign Press Association in London and the UK Correspondent for QN-Il Giorno, an Italian national daily newspaper. She is a member of the UK Lobby and Chair of the Foreign Lobby – the group of international journalists who have regular briefings with departments of State and Number 10 Downing Street. She is an Observer on the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists (DCMS) and a regular Royal Commentator on various outlets, including RAI Italian TV. She has co-written a book on “Boris Johnson, the Media and the Pandemic” and one on: “The Foreign Correspondents’ View on Brexit”, both with Bite-Sized Books.