The Girls We Want On Top


Written by Hatti Whitman
12 Monday 12th December 2011

Kira Cochrane published this article in The Guardian last week, in which she details her four weeks spent counting the number of female bylines in major UK newspapers. She found a mind-boggling imbalance between male and female contributions to print journalism; when she extended her research to include women appearing on Radio 4 stalwarts Today and Any Questions it became even clearer: women are hugely under-represented in the media. Don’t believe it? The statistics are here. Infuriated by the relentless subjugation of The Man (the Men?) Don’t Panic compiled a list of Female Journalists that we’d like to see a lot more of…

Marina Hyde

Photo © Maja Flink

Often tongue-in-cheek and always provocative, Hyde’s columns for The Guardian have got her into trouble on a number of occasions. She’s not afraid to make fun of powerful people (this ‘diary entry’ from Elton John prompted him to sue for libel) and her wicked sense of humour and dry observations make her three columns some of the most readable but also thought-provoking meditations on sport, celebrity culture, and current affairs available to the British public.

What would Marina do in our ideally balanced society? Edit a national newspaper of course. Or maybe Private Eye

Kirsty Young

With her Scots brogue and sweep of blonde hair, Young has been sexing up Desert Island Discs and Crimewatch since 2006 and 2007 respectively. She also holds the current record for most female stints on Have I Got News For You, having appeared on the programme ten times (Alexander Armstrong holds the record for most appearances overall, with 19 turns in the presenter’s chair under his belt). She’s funny, classy, ballsy, AND she speaks Russian. Seriously.

What role do we see Kirsty in? Definitely a contender to sweep the Today programme from under John Humphries’ ossified feet.

Jan Moir

Every ideal society has to have a figure that the public can pillory every once in a while, and who better to step into this role (replacing notable past contenders such as John Prescott and Gordon Brown’s arch-nemesis Gillian Duffy) than Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir? A repeat offender who was awarded the Stonewall 'Bigot of the Year' Award in 2009 following the furore surrounding this article about the death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, Moir’s views make her very much a Marmite columnist.

So what should Jan do? It often seems that Harriet Harman could do with a wing-woman in her quest to hack off everyone one minute and then win hearts across the country the next, and Jan's bipolar views could be just the ticket, were she made a member of the shadow cabinet.

Bryony Gordon

Bryony is the Bridget Jones of the noughties. In her blog and columns for The Telegraph she recounts her various scrapes and kerfuffles with just the right balance of fluff and clever writing. She’s one of those journalists whose insights are surprisingly, well, insightful, and she deserves a place in everyone’s hearts. Her interviews are especially brilliant, marking Bryony out as one lady-journo who really has the potential to surprise us all.

Where would we find a place for Bryony? Bryony’s great at interviews, so she’d obviously be brilliant as the next Paxman, presenting Newsnight. Politicians would be totally outfoxed by the steely core hidden beneath her ditziness.

Caitlin Moran

Caitlin’s another one that you either love or hate. She’s been writing for The Times for years and is one of the most outspoken feminist voices in the press, publishing the brilliant How to be a Woman in June of this year. She also maintains the hilarious CelebWatch feature in addition to her TV and comment columns for The Times, combining off-the-wall writing with incisive observations about current affairs, celebrity culture, and television. Her Twitter account is consistently brilliant, offering insights into Ms Moran’s weird and wonderful world to her 150,000+ followers.

Where do we want to see Caitlin? Where don’t we want her, the woman’s amazing. Would it be OK to have a Prime Minister this unhealthily obsessed with Paul McCartney?

Obviously we’re barely scraping the surface of all the brilliant female writers, thinkers and activists out there. Let us know who you’d like to see more of in the comments box below.

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