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.
CNN International Link to Story

'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.
CNN International 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).
CNN International Link to Story

Inside the ghost town that's key to Ukraine conflict

Debaltseve, the contested town, where the people live underground.
CNN International Link to Story

Gene Sharp: A dictator's worst nightmare

He's an unlikely radical -- an 84-year-old academic. But his ideas are literally revolutionary.
CNN International Link to Story

How Friday became the Middle East's day of protest

Friday has always been a day of rest in the Muslim world. But now, prayer and politics mix.
CNN International Link to Story

Gaza surfers find peace on the waves

Gaza's tiny surfing community escape the hardships of their conflict-wracked life in the sea.
CNN International Link to Story

Party time in London as crowds celebrate royal wedding

After William and Catherine's fleeting first kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, the vast crowd gathered below chanted a brief chorus of "kiss, kiss, kiss" -- before the couple treated the adoring spectators to their second kiss as newly weds.
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