Award for women journalists created to honour Nicola Barry

A NEW award celebrating one of Scotland’s finest writers has been created for women journalists.

A NEW award celebrating one of Scotland’s finest writers has been created for women journalists.

The Nicola Barry Award aims to encourage campaigning journalism that the award-winning columnist and feature writer was known for during her career.

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Launched by her husband Alastair Murray and the new Women in Journalism Scotland (WiJ), the winner will receive a trophy at the Scottish Press Awards next spring.

It was created at the end of the first year for WiJ Scotland, a networking, campaigning, training and social organisation open to women journalists across all media.

The group said Ms Barry, who died in January aged 66, was “driven by a passion to help the underdog and to give a voice to those who had none”.

Shelley Jofre, BBC Scotland’s health correspondent and co-chair of WiJ Scotland, said: “The unveiling of this new award rounds off an amazing first year for WiJ Scotland.

“We may make up half the population but the vast majority of front page news stories in UK newspapers are still written by men; on average two-thirds of senior jobs are still done by men. And a light has finally been shone on the unjustifiable gender pay gap that persists across press and broadcasting.

“As an organisation, we will continue to lobby for change and, most importantly, offer support for women journalists at every stage of their career.”

In a career spanning over 40 years, Ms Barry won more than 25 UK and Scottish press awards and worked for almost all of Scotland’s main newspapers. The Nicola Barry Award will be open to all women journalists working in print and online media in Scotland and will recognise issue-led reporting or commentary.