In a historical move, Asian Express has officially taken under it’s wing an ethnic media brand from Bradford to deliver a bigger, more engaging media platform for it’s readers.
With 15 years tucked under it’s belt, Asian Express newspaper has over the years grown from a monthly 36-page publication to a weekly 86-page strong title under the leadership of Nadim and Andleeb Hanif.
In an acquisition of Bradford's Urban Echo newspaper title, the Hanif’s are investing their expertise in media industry with Urban Echo founder Irfan Ajeeb. The collaboration enables a collective effort to expand on ethnic media and rapidly expand on providing exclusive content relevant to Asian communities not only in West Yorkshire, but nationally.
Nadim Hanif said: “We believe the decision to bring on board Irfan will make a significant impact in driving the progression and expansion of Asian Express newspaper.
“Despite having won numerous awards, and are much-humbled by that, that has never been the objective.
“Our objective always has been, and always will be, in providing a highly-reputable medium which represents and gives voice to Asians in Britain.
“Asian Express has been challenging misconceptions, misconstrued headlines and the negative rhetoric of mainstream media. We give a voice and platform to highlight the thousands of positive stories of Asians in the UK - there is nothing more important to us than this.
“We believe that Irfan joining our team will have a lasting impact on Asian Media, not only in Bradford but beyond it’s boundaries.”
Irfan Ajeeb commented: “I am very excited about this collaboration and I feel the timing is right to work together with the team behind Asian Express.
“I enjoyed my time creating Urban Echo and would like to thank everyone who supported me during that time but by making this transition, it is now another chapter in my life and I look forward to the new challenges that lies ahead.
“I have known Andleeb and Nadim for many years on a personal basis and I have always admired their work ethics and their newspaper.
“By working together, I am confident we can combine our strengths and take Asian Express to a wider readership.”
Asian Express announced as ‘Publication of the Year 2015' at Asian Media Awards 2015
ASIAN EXPRESS: Founding partners Nadim and Andleeb Hanif said that winning the award is win for the Yorkshire region - as it’s usually London and the Midlands that is recognised and celebrated for its media talents. They were presented with 'Publication of the Year Award 2015' by Sanjay Shabi, Director CultureCom at MediaCom.
Asian Express, an already multi-award winning newspaper, has been recognised as Britain’s ‘Publication of the Year’ at a gala event which celebrates the achievements of media professionals who excel in their field.
HOST: Sky News presenter Jannat Jalil
The star-studded Asian Media Awards (AMAs) this year was hosted by Sky News presenter Jannat Jalil, at the Hilton Manchester in Deansgate on Thursday 29th October.
The AMAs brings together UK’s foremost journalists, broadcasters and media professionals and recognises Britain’s finest talents, whose work continues to be both innovative and original.
The ‘Publication of the Year Award’ received by Asian Express newspaper is given to a magazine or newspaper that has produced valuable editorial content as well as maintaining high creative standards.
Asian Express newspaper founders Nadim and Andleeb Hanif were thrilled to receive the accolade amongst their peers and media representatives.
In a joint-statement Nadim and Andleeb Hanif said: “Firstly, everything we are and everything we do is made possible by the exceptionally hard-working and talented team we have at Asian Express.
“Secondly, this is a real win for the Yorkshire region – it’s usually London and the Midlands that is recognised and celebrated for its media talents.
“We both have a combined experience of over 16 years working within mainstream press before teaming up to produce the Asian Express newspaper. This award couldn’t have come at any better timing as this year we are celebrating 15 years of publishing the Asian Express.
“We feel hugely responsible for the representation of British Asians in the UK, and the truth is that through the course of our journey we’ve actually been encouraged by the people who get involved with what we do.
“The under-representation and misrepresentation of the ethnic communities in the UK by mainstream press is what fuels our passion to change the media landscape.
“We are dedicated to continue developing the largest news and communications information highway for British Asians, and we trust we have our readers’ continued support.”
Best TV Show 2015: Desi Rascals
Now in their third year the AMAs look to highlight the ground-breaking work of reporters, editors and producers in highlighting issues affecting race relations and human rights.
Producer Paul Berges (Gurinder Chada's husband) received 'Best Stage Production Award' for Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical
Premier sponsors of the event this year were the University of Salford are and partners included ITV, MediaCom and Press Association Training.
Ranvir Singh won 'Media Personality of the Year
ITVs Ranvir Singh, who has fronted a number of investigation pieces tackling issues ranging from the refugee crisis to drink driving, was named as the ‘Media Personality of the Year 2015’.
The ‘Outstanding Contribution to Media Award’ was given to former BBC producer Tara Prem. It came on a night as the awards also celebrated 50 years of Asian programming on the BBC.
Radio Station of the Year: BBC Asian Network
Tributes were paid to Bradford’s Sunrise radio presenter Shahida Akhtar and Punjab
2000’s Tony Singh Pabla, both who sadly passed away this year.
WINNERS OF 2015 ASIAN MEDIA AWARDS
Publication of the Year: Asian Express Newspaper
Best Blog: Amena Beauty
Best Website: DesiBlitz.com
Best Video Channel: Planet Parle
Best Live Event: Diwali Lights-on Leicester
Best Stage Production: Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical
Media Professional of the Year: Natasha Mudhar
Media Agency of the Year: Media Moguls
TV Report of the Year: Slave Wives (BBC Newsnight)
Best TV Show: Desi Rascals
Best TV Character: Rakhee Thakrar (Shabnam Masood)
TV Channel of the Year: Star Plus
TV Presenter of the Year: Asad Shan
Regional Radio Station of the Year: Sabras Radio
Best Radio Show: Noreen Khan
Radio Station of the Year: BBC Asian Network
Radio Presenter of the Year: Anita Anand
Outstanding Young Journalist: Siraj Datoo, Buzzfeed
Regional Journalist of the Year: Sangeeta Bhabra
Best Investigation: India’s Daughter
Journalist of the Year: Kavita Puri
Sophiya Haque Services to British Television & Film: Roshan Seth
Mr. Cameron said that anyone reading the letter could see that it clearly praises the Muslim community saying that they make a great contribution to UK, and that what is happening in terms of extremist terror has nothing to do with the true religion of Islam.
The letter had also praised the way Muslims in Britain had responded to the Paris terror attacks and Mr. Cameron said that he believes that in no way did it intend to undermine Muslims in Great Britain and that the letter was being taken out of context.
When question on wether he understands how the Muslim's in Britain may be feeling exposed and vulnerable to stigmatisation by the letter, Mr. Cameron says: “We cannot turn away from Islamist extremism, all of us have to look at this and ask how do we combat this poisonous narrative. Obviously we needed the Muslim community in Great Britain to join us on this.”
The Prime Minister said that the Iraq war or 911 attack was just a wake up call to the realisation of radicalisation of vulnerable young Muslim men and that “we cannot turn away from this - all of us have to look at this and is ask how do we combat this distorted view of Islam - peaceful religion,” he says.
He criticised the Governemnt's old Prevent programme stating that it was a “bit muddled” and that it didn't do very well on either objectives of trying to support mosques and prevent terrorism. It confused the delivery of Government policy to promote integration to prevent terrorism.
“Obviously we need the Muslim community in Great Britain to work with us.
“We need to unite to make a clear and loud definition between Islam - religion of peace and Islamist extremism, and we need the help of the Muslim leaders on facilitating this,” says the Prime Minister.
He added that he feels rooting out terrorism is a generational challenge and feels that it will take some time to overcome.
“We must unite as a nation to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support. “At the same time, we have to stand up and fight against Islamophobia.
“It's a real problem in our country and it makes people feel vulnerable and fearful and it is extremely unpleasant and unnecessary,” he says.
Faith leaders, he says, are in a unique position in British society as they have a precious opportunity and important responsibility in explaining and demonstrating how faith in Islam can be part of British identity.
“When we are globally aware that using religious slurs such as ‘hebe’ or ‘hid’ (for Jews) or ethnic slurs such as ‘golliwogg’ and ‘nigger’ (for Africans) are hideously offensive and socially unacceptable, why would someone maintain that it’s their right to use it – for the sake of having their freedom of speech?”
In the wake of the terrorist attack, where gunmen in Paris killed 12 people, many Muslim clerics across the globe quickly condemned the attack and said there was no acceptable justification for the killings.
It was a signal from some of the Islamic world's strictest voices that cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were not a reason to kill the artists.
On Sunday 11th January, hundreds of thousands of people including a number of world leaders such as Angela Merkel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and David Cameron gathered in Paris for a unity rally, to stand in mourning, in defiance.
These declarations were a display of solidarity with those who lost their lives and those who survived.
Western critics are become increasingly brazen about suggesting there is something inherent in Islam that is sparking violence by some of its adherents. Most Muslims reject this, arguing that the conflicts in the Middle East have created fertile ground for fuelling anger and discontent on foreign policies of the Western world.
What has become rather alarming to see are the relentless calls for the Muslim communities across the world to denounce terrorism carried out by radicalised individuals and groups.
SATIRE: In contrast to Charlie Hebdo’s self-description as an “irresponsible journal,” this image features a “responsible journal” that is empty of content
Where Muslims are making gestures of solidarity via social networks, they can share the frustration, fear and devastation of acts of terror, but in reality most are not be able to do much more. They don’t feel competent enough to feign expertise in a matter they know little of.
The dilemma now is how to engage in the growing debate within Islam on how to reject the radicalised minority that most Muslims fear is dragging them into conflict and wrecking the faith.
The attack on Charlie Hebdo prompted the West contending that Islam fuels violence, but hundreds of thousands of Muslims say they are tired of apologising for an extremist fringe who is distorting the view of their religion.
Despite the sadness and immense sense of grief for those who have lost their loved ones through acts of terrorism, one can't help but sit back and reflect upon the situation.
Charles Hebdo, for years, intentionally and repeatedly made a mockery of religion and ridiculed Muslims openly saying that Prophet Muhammed meant nothing to him and that he had the right to exercise his "freedom of speech".
Where calls to defend the right to practise freedom of speech, Andleeb Hanif – Managing Editor of Asian Express says: “Self-restaint applies to every law of the universe” and that “there are limits and boundaries for everything.
“Firstly, there is no justification for the grotesque murders which took place in Paris. Islam is not that weak to be brought down by cartoons and caricatures," comments Andleeb.
"Where I agree to freedom of speech and expression, as with everything in life - that too I believe, comes with responsibility and moderation. Freedom of speech is an infinite void, which may inevitably lead to being offensive, but there's a huge difference between that and having a purposeful campaign to repeatedly offend.
“When we are now globally aware that using religious slurs such as ‘hebe’ or ‘hid’ (for Jews) or ethnic slurs such as ‘golliwogg’ and ‘nigger’ (for Africans) is hideously offensive and socially unacceptable, why would someone maintain that it’s their right to use it? For the sake of having their freedom of speech?
“The next issue of Charlie Hebdo’s satirical magazine is set to publish, yet again, another cartoon of the Prophet Muhammed this week.
“My question to this is – in the light of the recent Paris attack, the world has yet again become aware of how offensive it is to Muslims (in general) to depict an image of the Prophet Muhammed – then why continue to do so?
“We wouldn’t continue to, nor is there any excuse to use the words nigger and hibe now that we are so acutely aware of how repugnant these terms are to the people, so why continue to insult Muslims by continuing to do something that has so publically been denounced?
"What kind of freedom of speech is this? The literate world (it seems to me) has just proven how illiterate it can be.”
EXCITING: Pupils from Iveson Primary School catch up on the latest news in the Asian Express newspaper
A group of enthusiastic children from a Leeds primary school turned into junior reporters last week as they learned all about the newspaper industry, with a little help from the Asian Express.
As part of the national Children Takeover Day, Managing Editor of the Asian Express, Andleeb Hanif, met with pupils from Iveson Primary School where some serious brainstorming took place on how to write a good news story.
During the session, the children identified the differences between ‘gossip’ and ‘news’ and were keen to eagerly share their ideas on proposed headlines and how to approach an article for a newspaper.
Throughout the class, children had enjoyed talking about different types of news and were eager to talk about sports and celebrities, as well investigative journalism.
Mrs Hanif said she thoroughly enjoyed the day and working with the children.
“I was really impressed with this group of youngsters, who were so switched on about the importance of information being informative and accurate,” she said.
“They also knew the distinct differences between ‘gossip’ and ‘news’ stories, and were keen to give examples.
“We need to remember that they are only 10-years-old, so for them to be so engaged in newspaper articles was highly admirable. Well done to all of them for being so switched on.”
She added: “The Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day is a fabulous initiative where young people can have an insight into the adult world of work and be encouraged to interact with adults in decision-making workshops.
LEARNING: Ten pupils took part in the Takeover Day as they learnt how to write a news story
“Engaging with young people for encouragement is my personal passion and it’s my mission to inspire them, even if it’s just a little bit.”
Takeover Day has been developed by the Children’s Commissioner for England and gives children and young people the chance to work with adults for the day whilst being involved in decision-making.