After the nominations for the 2015 Press Awards were unveiled to much fanfare this week, excitement soon turned to anger as hacks began to clock how few women had made the cut. Out of 114 nominees for individual journalist prizes, a mere 20 were female. In fact not one woman was shortlisted in either of the feature writer categories.
Christ the Press Awards are dull. The women thing obviously appalling. & the shortlists could have been written up anytime in last 20 years.
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) February 15, 2016
— Anita Sethi (@anitasethi) February 15, 2016
Now the fairer sex are fighting back. While the actual awards — to be held at the London Hilton on Tuesday 22 March — look set to be a testosterone-filled affair, there will now be a more oestrogen-friendly soiree the night before at the Groucho Club. Disgruntled journalists have come together to found the ‘Words by Women‘ awards after growing ‘tired of seeing women with bylines on the awards circuit sidelines’.
While Mail on Sunday editor Geordie Greig and the Times’ John Witherow will be at the Press Awards on the Tuesday to see their papers fight for the title of ‘newspaper of the year’, Buzzfeed‘s Janine Gibson and the Independent on Sunday‘s Lisa Markwell will be representing the ladies the night before as part of the Words by Women judging panel.
This all leads Miss Steerpike to ask: will Fleet Street’s high-powered men find time to join the ladies in solidarity ahead of their own awards?