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Mairi Mackay

Editor/Writer/Digital Producer

London

Mairi Mackay

Experienced award-winning digital journalist. Spent time in the Middle East, now back in London. Have written and edited for CNN.com and The Times.

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Before They Were ISIS

Rasheed Benyahia couldn’t bear the sight of blood — even the sight of it on television was enough to turn his stomach. “If he saw Casualty [a British medical drama], he’d be going, ‘Oh, mum, I can’t eat this Pringle now,’ ” says his mother, Nicola Benyahia. “He just couldn’t stand it.” It’s not that the young man, whose plump cheeks and wispy moustache made him look younger than his years, wasn’t brave. As a teenager he’d gotten into the adrenalin-fueled sport of free running, pulling awesomely gymnastic flips through the air on the streets of his hometown of Birmingham in the U.K.
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The new Berlin? How austerity helped Lisbon's creatives to succeed

(CNN)On a sun-drenched morning the streets of Lisbon's Santos neighborhood echo with the metallic sounds of construction. Nets and scaffolding cover the facades of many of the distressed buildings in this historic neighborhood. In newly-refurbished buildings with shiny facades of "azulejo" tiles there are cafes, design shops and art galleries, sitting side-by-side with traditional bakeries, bookshops and quirky restaurants.
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'Help us find a life:' The terrifying reality of living under ISIS in Raqqa, Syria

It's notoriously difficult to get information out of Raqqa. ISIS monitors everything inside the city. Due to security concerns all of the information in this article has been provided by activist group Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered and many of the sources are unnamed for their own protection.
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Instagram Travel Guide to … Lisbon

Maybe it’s all the sunshine, or the open spaces and never-ending views around every corner, but Lisbon doesn’t feel like other capital cities. Wandering the steep cobbled streets past tile-clad buildings and little shops that look like they’ve been there for 100 years can make you feel like you’re in a time warp.
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Is Lisbon's Hottest Hangout the Future of the Office?

Travel up to the first floor of Lisbon’s 19th-century Mercado da Ribeira food market, up a set of stairs topped with red and yellow Perspex, and you’ll find a pretty cool place to work. Walking into Second Home Lisboa, the first thing you see is the bar. The next is the view from windows that line the space: on one side, the market where women in aprons sell fruit and vegetables, fish and legs of ham; on the other, the vast Tagus River glittering in the sun.
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Vacant homes and the super rich: How property became London's battleground

Spiraling property prices and uncontrolled rent have pushed property ownership out of the reach of many, leaving some Londoners feeling resentful. The situation is so severe that one pollster identified London housing as "a key electoral battleground" in the UK election on May 7. According to online real estate portal, Rightmove.co.uk, in the last 10 years average asking prices in Greater London doubled from $415,000 (£284,000) to $849,000 (£580,000).
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Oscars diversity row is 'anti-white racism,' says Charlotte Rampling

"I regret that my comments could have been misinterpreted ... I simply meant to say that in an ideal world every performance will be given equal opportunities for consideration. I am very honored to be included in this year's wonderful group of nominated actors and actresses." Rampling's comments come after Hollywood stars Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and directors Spike Lee and Michael Moore announced they will boycott next month's Oscars ceremony over lack of diversity among nominees.
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'Shoot us or help us': 3 stories from refugee crisis you need to read

The attacks in Paris earlier this month may have overshadowed the so-called refugee crisis -- but the greatest migration of people on the European continent since World War II continues unabated. In one of the most extreme protests seen since the start of the refugee crisis, about 10 men trapped on the Greek-Macedonian border have sewn their lips shut to silently oppose being blocked from continuing further into Europe.
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Ghostly ships filled with bodies arrive on Japan's shores

Over the past two months, at least 12 wooden boats have been found adrift or on the coast, carrying chilling cargo -- the decaying bodies of 22 people, police and Japan's coast guard said. All the bodies were "partially skeletonized" -- two were found without heads -- and one boat contained six skulls, the coast guard said.
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'Homeland is racist': Artists hide subversive graffiti in hit TV show

(CNN)Ask graffiti artists to help decorate the set of your TV show -- and you might get more than you bargained for. That's how a group of street artists managed to sneak subversive Arabic slogans -- including an accusation of racism -- onto an episode of award-winning U.S. spy series "Homeland," which stars Claire Danes.
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Palmyra: Will ISIS bulldoze ancient Syrian city?

At least 100 regime troops were killed overnight fighting ISIS, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. ISIS militants were going door-to-door looking for Syrian regime soldiers Thursday, one Palmyra resident who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution told CNN. "They (ISIS) are everywhere," another resident told CNN, adding that militants have put the city on curfew.
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Norway to Afghan migrants from Russia: You may get sent back to Kabul

(CNN)The Norwegian government has sent a stern warning to Afghan asylum seekers coming across the border from Russia: You could get a one-way ticket to Kabul. Hundreds of migrants have been crossing into Norway from Russia each week via the frontier above the Arctic Circle -- but last week marked a turning point, with more Afghans than Syrians seeking asylum for the first time, Norway's Directorate of Immigration said.
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About

Mairi Mackay

I am an experienced, award-winning journalist with proven editorial judgement and creative thinking. My background is in digital journalism and I have 10 years experience in both news and features.

I am an experienced reporter (including working in the field) and newsdesk editor and have worked on stories including the war in Syria, the refugee crisis and the Paris attacks.

As a features journalist, I have written on a wide range of topics including: Middle East business and culture, contemporary art, film, travel, urban environment, religion, nonviolent protest and women’s issues.

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Skills

  • Copy Writing
  • Commissioning Content
  • Analytics
  • Photoshop
  • Copy Editing
  • Mobile Video
  • Feature Writing
  • Social Media
  • Multimedia
  • Infographics
  • Reporting
  • Editing
  • Digital producing
  • Broadcast
  • Storytelling
  • News