Catherine Deveney

The Press and Journal

Catherine Deveney interlaces opinions on current news stories with her own past to produce consistently gripping and moving columns.

Not one to mince her words, yet always calm and clear as a bell in her message, there is no other columnist writing today who you would rather have defending you in any argument. Her style is direct and at times pleasingly dry, yet often verging on poetic in nature. Catherine’s most admirable trait as a columnist is standing proudly apart from the crowd and offering unique insight, even on a subject already much-talked about. This was certainly the case when it came to the cancellation of Jerry Sadowitz’s Edinburgh Fringe show during August 2022. In her column, “Jerry Sadowitz begrudgingly showed me the person behind the performance”, Catherine remembers a rare and revealing past interview with the controversial comedian. Demonstrating her characteristic ability to remain objective without compromising her own principles, she is able to see and empathise with Sadowitz the human being while never letting Sadowitz the performer off the hook scot-free. At a time when the media was saturated with samey coverage of the scandal, Catherine’s much-read column cut through the noise and offered something entirely original. Similarly, the piece “University trigger warnings trivialise mental health issues” presents a refreshing view on why censorship of course texts is not the way forward for higher education, nor society. Though this debate has raged for two years or more, Catherine’s argument takes a different path, focusing on why we should strive to process trauma in all avenues of life, rather than hide from it. The column is a fine example of how, as a columnist, she never hesitates to write openly about her own difficult experiences, giving her pieces more credibility, as well as making them instantly relatable. The final column highlighted here explore Catherine’s frustration at the double standards of our society when it comes to women’s rights. In “There is nothing ‘cringeworthy’ about a woman being paid what she’s worth”, she advocates - in a sizzling fashion - for underpaid women, calling out ex-CEO of Pepsi Indra Nooyi for her comments about actively seeking a pay rise. Once again, Catherine skilfuly uses snippets from her own past to engage, enrage and inspire the reader.