Mairi Mackay

Editor/Writer/Digital Producer


Mairi Mackay

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


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. Link to Story

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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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. Link to Story

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,, 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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From loser to kingmaker: Why Scotland could hold key to UK's future

The Scottish people had decisively rejected independence from the United Kingdom in a referendum that the Scottish National Party demanded. SNP leader and Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond -- who for more than 20 years led the Scottish nationalists from a fringe interest to the country's government -- resigned.
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Eurovision: 7 secrets to being a hit at Europe's favorite song contest

Winners have included Lordi, a Finnish metal band dressed as Orcs and, last year, a glamorous bearded lady from Austria. It's weird. It's wacky. It's definitely camp. And it has awesome soft power. Up-and-coming nations on the periphery of Europe scramble to host the show to raise their profile on the world stage.
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Great war photographer 'contaminated by darkness'

(CNN)Don McCullin is famed for his photographs of conflict, but there was one war he couldn't get to. It was 1982, and he had been at the top of his game as a photojournalist for the best part of two decades traversing the world, capturing the horror of the world's wars with an unflinching eye. You name it, he'd been there -- Cyprus, Congo, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Lebanon, Israel -- recording starving children, shell-shocked soldiers, mourning fathers, mothers with cholera.
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Indiana Jones with a 3-D camera? Hi-tech fight to save antiquities from ISIS

(CNN)A new hi-tech front has opened in the battle to save priceless ancient monuments under threat from ISIS. A team of archaeologists has come up with a cheap 3-D digital camera that can capture a record of buildings and artifacts -- and they are sending thousands into hot spots in the Middle East and beyond.
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'Space Oddity' to 'The Man Who Fell to Earth': His greatest music, films

Legendary British art-rock icon David Bowie -- who has died aged 69 -- was all these and so much more. In a prolific career spanning more than four decades, Bowie amassed a huge catalog of music, his unrelenting evolution keeping him relevant to new generations of fans. As an actor, his career flourished from the late 1970s to the early 1980s -- and he worked with great directors including David Lynch, Martin Scorsese and Jim Henson.
CNN International Link to Story

Rock the conflict: Israeli metal bands tour for peace

An Arab band has joined with a Jewish band to spread message of peace through rock 'n roll.
CNN International Link to Story

South Africa's race to space

How studying Big Bang could win the African nation big bucks.
CNN International Link to Story


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.



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