The End Violence Against Women Coalition has today (14 November) unveiled the shortlist for its inaugural Ending Violence against Women and Girls Media Awards. The shortlist includes The Evening Standard, The Guardian, Vice, the BBC and Sky News.
The Awards aim to recognise and celebrate exemplary reporting on violence against women and girls in print, broadcast and online news, features, comment and documentaries (full shortlist below) which explains how and why abuse happens, is respectful of victims and survivors, and which has an impact on public debate.
Shortlisted entries include:
an Evening Standard investigation into responses to sexual harassment on the Tube;
BBC Woman’s Hour’s in-depth reporting on coercive control related to The Archers’ storyline this year;
ITV Exposure’s documentary revealing the child sexual abuse committed by Clement Freud;
in Gal-Dem, a nuanced exploration of the intersection between racism and rape culture;
a powerful piece in Vice looking at how sexual violence at music festivals is being ignored.
There is also a Special Award for young journalists cutting their teeth in this area, and a Wooden Spoon for a piece of journalism which recycles old inaccuracies and prejudices.
The seven awards categories were judged by both journalists and experts on violence against women and girls. The panel was chaired by writer and journalist Joan Smith and included Victoria Derbyshire, the Telegraph’s Claire Cohen, Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, Viv Groskop, Zlakha Ahmed, founder of Apna Haq, and Chief Executive of Women’s Aid Polly Neate (full list of judges below).
The inaugural Awards were already extremely competitive and EVAW received over 150 entries across the seven categories. The winners will be announced on Friday 25 November: the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls.
Many judges commented that they were impressed at the scale and quality of the entries which gives them hope for the way good journalism can help change attitudes in this area. One judge said of one entry, “searing and angry yet managing composure at the same time”. Other pieces were commended for “Putting the woman at the centre of the story and showing her as having agency”, as well as “Helping the reader through the material gently and challenging myths.”
By recognising the very best reporting of violence against women and girls, the Awards aim to encourage investment in stories that are informed, accurate, sensitive and fair, and that help to ‘set the agenda’ and create public debate and change.
Journalist and Awards Chair Joan Smith explains why these awards are needed:
“The media has a unique capacity to create a much better informed debate about violence against women and girls. It has the reach and influence to expose apparently invisible of forms of abuse such as trafficking and so-called ‘honour’-based violence, while also challenging the response to apparently routine and inevitable forms of abuse, including sexual and domestic violence.
“Documentaries like Roger Graef’s ground-breaking exposure of the way Thames Valley Police “interrogated” a rape complainant as to her conduct, and more recently the London Evening Standard’s high-profile campaign on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), have helped to change the way our society responds to these crimes.
“These awards have been created to recognise those journalists and editors who, despite the prejudice that still exists towards victims, report on violence against women in a sensitive and constructive way.”
The ‘Write to End Violence Against Women Awards’, which recognise great Scottish journalism in this area have recently published their shortlist and will announce their winners on 6 December. The End Violence Against Women Coalition hopes that both sets of Awards will help increase discussion about good journalism on violence against women and girls, and make editors and commissioners more likely to give it the green light.
THE FULL SHORTLIST:
Harriet Hall, Stylist, ‘Harrowing video reveals the true impact of long-term domestic abuse’
Radhika Sanghani, Telegraph, ‘Womens charities call to end cruel abortion laws in the UK’
Judges: Jill Saward (JURIES), Elli Moody (GirlGuiding), Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff (Gal-Dem) and Laura Bates (Everyday Sexism).
Sarah Ditum, New Statesman, ‘The reporting of India Chipchase’s murder shows the true extent of Britain’s rape culture’
Salma Haidrani, The Debrief, ‘Think Honour Killings Don’t Happen in the UK?’
Rosamund Urwin, Evening Standard, ‘How the battle to beat tube gropers has gone off the rails’
Judges: Polly Neate (Womens’ Aid), Dr Fiona Vera Gray (Centre for Gender Equal Media) and Victoria Derbyshire (BBC).
Zahra Dalilah, Gal-Dem, ‘Nate Parker Defenders: Racism is Real, but so is Rape Culture’.
Kate Lloyd, Broadly, ‘There’s a Rape Problem at Music Festivals and Nobody Seems to Care’
Lola Okolosie, Guardian, ‘Sexual violence at schools is endemic. The government can’t ignore it any longer’
Judges: Dr Carlene Firmin (University of Bedford, MsUnderstood), Diana Nammi (Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation), Zlakha Ahmed (Apna Haq) and Dr Cynthia Carter (Cardiff School of Journalism).
BBC, Behind Closed Doors (Anna Hall)
BBC, Abused: The Untold Story (Olly Lambert)
ITV Exposure, Abused & betrayed – A Life Sentence (Simon Egan, Esella Hawkey)
Judges: Chris Green (White Ribbon), Marisa Bate (The Pool), End Violence against Women coalition
BBC 2 Victoria Derbyshire, Sexual Harassment in Schools
BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, Coercive Control & Domestic Violence on The Archers
Judges: Louise Whitefield (Deigton Pierce Glynn), Molly Ackhurst (Hollaback), Katherine Butler (Guardian), Claire Cohen (Telegraph).
Sirin Kale, Broadly
Samara Linton, Black Ballad
Sandy Rashty, The Jewish Chronicle
Judges: Lia Latchford (Imkaan), Roz Hardie (Lewisham Disability Coalition), Viv Groskop