Make Journalism Great Again: Meet the women saving the profession4 min read

Women dominated the shortlist for last week’s Paul Foot Award – given to the most outstanding campaigning and investigative journalists in the UK. Four out of the six nominees were female, as was the eventual winner Amelia Gentleman, who exposed the Windrush scandal earlier this year.

This comes at a crucial time where public trust in media is has plummeted, with readers perceiving increasingly blurred lines between journalism and advertising.

Yet if it’s women pulling journalism back on track with some outstanding investigative work; it’s men who’ve been dragging the profession through the mud. Whether it’s racism on front pages or selling editorials to tech giants, men drawn from a particularly entitled background – over 50% of the UK’s top media bosses were privately educated; just 11% of journalists overall are from a working-class background – are tarnishing the credibility of journalism at a time when revenues are under severe threat.

Meanwhile, in the last year alone:

Amelia Gentleman exposed how an entire generation of Brits was treated as illegal immigrants, as part of the government’s “hostile environment” initiative

Amelia Gentleman’s campaign – the Windrush scandal – in the words of Private Eye editor Ian Hislop, who presented her with the award, ensured “a cabinet minister was thrown overboard and the ship of state nearly sank.”

Which is fair enough when you consider the damage done to the Windrush generation. Without Amelia’s work, however, we probably still wouldn’t have a clue it was even going on – other journalists and editors knew the story, but refused to investigate further. 

Carole Cadwalladr is working on exposing the biggest threat to British democracy since the Second World War

Carole Cadwalladr is working on the most important investigative work in recent British history – possibly ever. Her work shows that Brexit and Trump were connected, and that key figures in both campaigns had close relationships with the Kremlin and shady anti-democratic organisations like Cambridge Analytica.

Or in other words: that the Brexit vote was significantly influenced by Kremlin activities via key figures in the group Leave.eu.

Aaron Banks, the man who gave the largest single donation in British political history (though whether it was really his money remains to be seen) to Leave.eu, has already been hard at work trying to intimidate Cadwalladr, but he’ll soon be doing this from a prison cell. As will Mr. Farage – the missing piece in the jigsaw.

This really is a story that goes deep into the British establishment and may ultimately turn out to be a British scandal comparable to Watergate; causing a political earthquake in Westminster and possible further afield, too.

Cadwalladr first published an investigative piece into Brexit, Russia and Cambridge Analytica last year: since then she’s almost single-handedly uncovered likely foreign interference in the British political process – and treason committed by some of Britain’s Official Patriots.

She’s still got a lot of stick for it though; but slowly, she’s being vindicated through her world-class journalism.

Madison Marriage shone a light onto the exploitative and immoral nature of the elite

Financial Times journalist Madison Marriage had the guts to go undercover and expose the “President’s Club” – one of the vilest examples yet of the sick culture at the top of British society.

Officially a male-only “charity fundraiser” for the extremely wealthy (can’t you simply pay your taxes instead, lads?) – Marriage’s reporting revealed that hostesses at the event were groped, sexually harassed and propositioned.

At the charity fundraiser, a 19-year old hostess was offered £75,000 for sex by a man in his 70s, who thought she was a prostitute.

The scandal wasn’t in the news for particularly long – one can only assume it made the entire establishment look bad – but was a hugely valuable piece of investigative reporting nonetheless.

Heidi Blake and From Russia with Blood

Artwork from the original article [Buzzfeed].
The other woman on the shortlist was Heidi Blake, who led an investigation into alleged assassinations on British soil committed by Kremlin Operatives.

Even more amazingly, the documents compiled by Blake’s team suggested the police were active in the cover-up of these murders and that the state knowingly ignored “a ring of death on British soil”.

Women lead the way in journalism that creates value

Everyone knows papers aren’t selling anymore; and that the amounts made from online advertising pale in comparison.

Interestingly, the Guardian received a huge number of donations off the back of Cadwalladr’s work; which would suggest not only that there is still a thirst for quality reporting in the interests of normal people, but people are happy to pay for it, too.

So rather than coming up with ways to blame immigrants for just about everything, or weird smear stories about Jeremy Corbyn – perhaps the oh-so-big, important and powerful men at the top of the media tree should ask a female colleague what quality journalism looks like; you never know, it might just save the profession.

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