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Female judges to outnumber men for first time as press awards launched

John McLellanFemale judges will out number male judges for the first time in the history of a journalism awards scheme.

The Scottish Newspaper Society has announced the changes while launching the 38th Scottish Press Awards.

A jury of 25 leading media experts and former editors will judge entries for 21 categories including Newspaper of the Year, Weekly Newspaper of the Year and Young Journalist of the Year.

New categories have been introduced for Digital Team of the Year and Outstanding Digital Journalist to recognise the continued expansion and development of digital news publishing on all platforms.

There is also a new Sports Columnist of the Year category and Photographer of the Year has been expanded so the portfolios can include both news and sport.

The feature writer category has been expanded to include arts and entertainment.

In another change, the external judges will be involved at all stages of the judging process, replacing a system in which they were only involved once entries had been whittled down to a shortlist.

Scottish Newspaper Society director John McLellan, pictured above left, said: “As a newspaper editor I helped judge the Scottish Press Awards for 15 years and I have long felt an overhaul was overdue.

“It’s not before time that we addressed the issue of female representation, and having a fully independent panel of judges enhances the scheme’s credibility.”

Entry forms and guidelines can be found here, while the deadline for submissions is 16 January 2017.