IMAGE: Mahnoor Mahmood – who is undertaking a PhD in Cancer Sciences at Glasgow University – being interviewed by STV
STV News and Women In Journalism (WIJ) Scotland are working together to achieve greater profile of underrepresented groups on air and have today announced a joint training initiative to increase the number of women experts appearing across broadcast media in Scotland.
The pilot scheme sees the news outlet and networking and campaigning group seek female health and science experts to take part in a virtual training workshop which will equip them with the skills and confidence required to carry out a broadcast interview.
Expert voices in the fields of healthcare and science have been increasingly sought after by TV and radio producers since the Covid-19 pandemic began. As part of its ongoing partnership with WIJ Scotland to improve gender equality on screen, STV will offer the broadcast media training to all women involved in those sectors who are considering becoming expert voices.
Hosted by STV journalists and producers, the event will take place via Zoom at 7pm on Thursday 1 April. While this particular session is exclusively open to women involved in healthcare and science, future events will focus on other sectors, with details to be announced in due course.
Around 30% of people invited onto TV news programmes in Scotland to share personal experiences or offer opinions are women, according to a recent study conducted by Karen Boyle and Melody House of the University of Strathclyde, in partnership with Gender Equal Media Scotland. The same study, which considers news output across one week, highlights that just 2% of TV experts in Scotland are women of colour.
STV broadcasts the most-watched news programme in the country, STV News at Six, as well as current affairs show Scotland Tonight, and strives to achieve a 50:50 gender balance across every show as a key part of its wider diversity and inclusion strategy.
Linda Grimes, Head of News and Current Affairs at STV, said: “There’s no shortage of talented, knowledgeable expert women in Scotland, but for a number of reasons, it’s sometimes hard to get them on screen, and they continue to be underrepresented.
“STV News is committed to changing that, and by joining forces with Women In Journalism Scotland, we plan to support female experts and empower them to take part in broadcast interviews with confidence and ease. I’d encourage women working in healthcare and science to take part in this pilot scheme, which we plan to roll out across other sectors throughout 2021.”
Catriona MacPhee, Co-Chair of Women In Journalism Scotland, said: "We're grateful to STV for committing the resources and support for this initiative. Diversity of voices and perspectives is vital for a representative and balanced media.
"This training follows several previous workshops hosted by STV and Women In Journalism Scotland, which has already empowered dozens of women to have their voices heard in the media. We hope to see many of these participants on our screens in the future and we look forward to rolling out the training to other sectors soon."