December 3, 2014
A new prize for Women in Journalism
by Zeljka Marosevic
A new prize has been created to reward innovation among female journalists, The Guardian reports. The Georgina Henry Women in Journalism Award for Innovation will be awarded by Women in Journalism (WiJ), a campaign group run by and for women which promotes networking, campaigning and training for female journalists.
The prize marks 21 years of the organisation’s existence, but it also remembers one of its founders who was a real innovator in her field. Georgina Henry was the former deputy editor of The Guardian, and devised and launched The Guardian website’s Comment is Free section, which gives any reader the ability to comment and add their own opinions under articles.
Henry’s work revolutionised the paper’s online presence and changed newspaper commentary for the digital age. Henry died earlier this year aged 53; editorial director of The Sunday Times and current chair of WiJ, Eleanor Mills said that the prize would be a “great way to immortalise her memory and give a big break to an enterprising woman journalist.”
The winner of the prize will receive “£4,000 either to fund a project or pay for living expenses during work experience at two or more major national news organisations to be arranged by the organisers.” Judging by recent statistics relating to women in journalism, the prize will do necessary work:
A 2012 WIJ survey of front-page bylines found that between 75%-90% were written by men. And the overall average ratio of male to female bylines is 78%/22%. More than 40 years after the Equalities Act of 1970, women are not well represented in national newsrooms.
The judges are looking for a female journalist of any age with “a flair for storytelling and evidence of innovation.” The first annual prize will be awarded at the Press Awards next year.
Zeljka Marosevic is the former managing director of Melville House UK.