September 29 2015
- Full shortlists unveiled in 20 different categories
- Major industry figures call for diversity within wider media
- www.asianculturevulture.com shortlisted in best website category and contributor Chayya Syal among outstanding young journalist nominees
THERE is always a certain buzz as some of the country’s leading Asian media organisations and journalists gather to find out who has been nominated for an Asian Media Award.
The select audience made up of many of this year’s nominees, also heard from three leading figures in the industry yesterday, as well as sponsors and supporters of the awards, now in its third year.
All spoke of the need for greater diversity and encouraged those seeking a break into the media to persist, defy family and cultural expectations, and keep plugging away – because the wider media definitely still needs them.
Mihir Bose, veteran sports journalist, and the first and former head of BBC Sport, regaled the audience with a highly entertaining string of anecdotes about his early days as a football reporter, including being beaten up, having his name misspelt in his first published piece for The Sunday Times and uncovering the football bungs scandal in 1993.
And just for good measure, there were myriad and humorous references to “why are you not minding the shop” – because many in the wider community especially during the 1970s and 1980s believed Asians only ran shops and could never be journalists or involved in the media.
The shortlist announcements were made at ITV studios on London’s South Bank.
Bose recalled: “When it was India Vs Pakistan (cricket) at Old Trafford in 1999 – everybody thought there was going to be mayhem – but the greatest moment was seeing a banner that said: ‘If we are all here, who is managing the shop?”
Well known arts and culture journalist Sarfraz Manzoor revealed how far he had come in breaking into television, defying not just racial and cultural expectations, but making it as a working class lad from a terraced house in Luton to become a Channel 4 TV exec.
He said success could be viewed from different angles and it was important to see what hurdles and disadvantages had been overcome in a person’s career progression.
“You need to look at the obstacles overcome – in a house without books and without hope,” he said referring to his own environment, where he knew absolutely no one in a profession and where expectations were low and centred largely around low skilled work.
He also in a similar vein to Viola Davis – the first black actor to win a TV Emmy in the US last week – called upon those within the industry to give greater opportunities to the young from minority and especially disadvantaged groups.
Most inspiringly of all, perhaps, was the contribution from the least well-known of the media speakers, Roohi Hasan, a senior ITV producer.
She spoke of how her close family supported her in her bid to become a journalist, despite much muttering from the wider community about how it was not an appropriate profession for a young Asian girl from Swindon, who happened to be from a Muslim background.
She also talked about how her mother and father backed her and the importance of persistence and determination in opening the doors to a media career.
She called on the Asian community to back those who wanted to work in the media, rather than try to persuade them into accountancy or other professions.
“Attitudes (towards a career in the media) in the Asian community need to change,” she said.
Mike Thiedke, director of public engagement, of Plan UK, the awards’ official charity partner and campaigners behind ‘Because I am a Girl’ initiative, stressed how important the work of the media was in highlighting issues of concern.
He told the audience that the last time he had had any contact with ITV was in Nepal, shortly after the devastating earthquakes in April 2015.
Allan Walker, dean of the School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford, the awards’ main sponsor, said how important and financially beneficial it was to have a vibrant media sector and for creativity to be nourished and nurtured during higher education. He said the cause of diversity and the awards were a natural fit – 70 per cent of the university’s undergraduates come from families where no one has a degree.
The audience also heard from Asif Zubairy, commissioning editor for ITV Entertainment. He said that ITV was committed to diversity, not just as a ticket box exercise but as integral parts of its operations. The channel is one of the awards’ partners.
The Winners will be announced at an Asian Media Awards dinner the Hilton Manchester Deansgate on Thursday 29 October.
Previous recipients of an Asian Media Award include Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Waris Hussein, Nina Wadia and Anita Anand.
FULL MEDIA AWARDS SHORTLIST 2015
Journalist of the Year
Kavita Puri (Deputy Editor, BBC TV Current Affairs)
Secunder Kermani (Reporter, BBC Newsnight)
Dipesh Gadher, (Chief Investigative Reporter, The Sunday Times)
Dharmesh Sheth (Reporter, Sky Sports)
Nelufar Hedayat (Journalist, Channel Four)
Shabnam Mahmood (Senior Broadcast Journalist, BBC Asian Network)
Exposure – Jihad: A British Story (ITV News)
India’s Daughter: A film by Leslee Udwin
Muslim Drag Queens (Kieran Yates for the Guardian)
Pakistan’s Hidden Shame (Clover Films for Channel 4)
Revenge Porn (BBC Newsnight)
Unreported World: Vaccination Wars (Quicksilver Media for Channel 4)
Regional Journalist of the Year
Arif Ansari (BBC North West)
Emb Hashmi (BBC Radio Derby)
Aasma Day (Lancashire Evening Post)
Sangeeta Bhabra, (ITV Meridian)
Outstanding Young Journalist
Siraj Datoo, Political Reporter, Buzzfeed
Dalmeet Singh Chawla, Science Journalist
Joty Chopra, Writer & reporter
Kiran Kaur (Reporter and Newsreader, KM Group)
Chayya Syal, Writer & blogger
TV Report of the Year
Autism in the South Asian Community (ITV News Central)
Fake Healers (BBC East Midlands)
Slave Wives (BBC Newsnight)
Tackling Extremism (ITV News Central)
The Honour Code (BBC Asian Network)
Publication of the year
The Asian Today
The Muslim News
Best TV Character
Pasha Bocarie (Rakesh, Emmerdale)
Sair Khan (Alya Nazir, Coronation Street)
Nikesh Patel (Aafrin Dalal, Indian Summers)
Rakhee Thakrar, (Shabnam Masood, Eastenders)
TV Channel of the Year
Best TV Show
Desi Rascals (Sky TV)
Desi Beats (Colours TV)
Mulaqat with Sukhi Bart (Brit Asia TV)
TV Presenter of the year
Radio Station of the Year
BBC Asian Network
Lyca Radio 1458
Regional Radio Station of the Year
Asian Sound Radio
Asian Star Radio
Unity 101 Community Radio
Radio Presenter of the Year
Best Radio Show
Bobby Friction on BBC Asian Network
Noreen Khan on BBC Asian Network
Panjabi Hit Squad on BBC Asian Network
Tommy Sandhu on BBC Asian Network
Sunny and Shay on BBC London 94.9
EVENTS, MARKETING & PR
Best Live Event
Alchemy 2015 (The Southbank Centre)
BBC Proms (Late Night with the BBC Asian Network)
Diwali Lights Switch-On (Leicester City Council)
Best Stage Production
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Bend it Like Beckham: The Musical
East is East
Happy Birthday Sunita (Rifco Arts)
Media Agency of the Year
Here & Now 365
Media Professional of the Year
The University of Salford are premier sponsors and partners to the event include ITV, MediaCom & Press Association Training.
The 2015 AMA’s will be supporting Plan UK’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ Campaign.
The Asian Media Awards 2015 is supported by University of Salford, Hilton Manchester Deansgate, Carter Law Solicitors, Manchester Metropolitan University, Routes into Languages, Evoque Medical, Zac Dean, Ride Leasing, AMT Lawyers, ITV, MediaCom, Press Association Training, Supreme Dream Events, Cleartwo, Payal, Plan UK & Because I Am A Girl.
About our nomination in best website category
EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re absolutely thrilled to be in the shortlist alongside websites that have been around a lot longer and are far better established than us, but we all have something unique and different to offer, and a thriving and vibrant Asian digital scene is good for readers of all shades… and we know, as a website, there is still a long way to go and strive continually to improve and meet the challenges ahead.
www.asianculturevulture.com is only just over two years old and we would not have been able to get where we have without the amazing effort, input and skill of many…but special mention must go to Suman Bhuchar, Chayya Syal, Tasha Mathur and two people who made our Cannes Film Festival coverage this year very special indeed: Attika Choudhary, Michael Tsim and Suman Bhuchar.
And of course nothing is possible without you dear reader, remember the bird’s wings are generous and this journey is nothing without your support or interest…so take a bow, and hop on board if you haven’t already!
Good Luck to all nominees! Sailesh Ram.