The Daily Mail’s consultant showbiz editor has said that working as a woman on the tabloid newspapers in the past was not easy – but things had got better.
Katie Hind started out covering court cases and crime stories, and working for a number of red-top papers including the now-defunct News of the World. She described her time there as “a very scary environment”, with pressure to deliver story after story.
Speaking at Leeds Trinity University’s Journalism and Media Week, Hind highlighted how there were always many more male reporters than female ones, and she recounted how she had gone to the scene of the disaster at Grenfell Tower in 2017 and overheard a male reporter saying: ‘what the ‘effing hell is she doing here?’
Sexism in the industry is prevalent but Hind said: “I think it’s getting better,” although she also believes there is still a long way to go.
Online harassment is also extremely common, and in November 2020 Hind faced a barrage of online hate and abuse from Johnny Depp fans after she tweeted a comment during the Amber Herd v. Johnny Depp court case. Hind edited her settings so as not to see the abuse but admitted feeling very upset by comments that were made by trolls about her family in particular.
“Now I have my settings so I just don’t see this kind of comments. I try to just get on with my life – but it is horrific,” she said.
Hind had this advice for the students at Leeds Trinity University: “You have to put the time in while you’re young. Journalism isn’t about where you start, but where you end up.” It isn’t always easy, she said, but if you can find your market you will love your career.
“I just love getting stories and that’s why I’m in showbiz journalism. It’s a really good way to learn that skill because you’re right at the coalface.”