Recognition and endorsement of my investigative journalism in British Journalism Review
I'm pleasantly surprised to be able to announce that the highly respected UK news industry SAGE journal, British Journalism Review, published a research article (pdf) in March 2018 by renowned journalist Peter Oborne, in which he provides a resounding endorsement and recommendation of my investigative journalism. The BJR article describes me as "one of the most courageous and interesting investigative reporters of our time."
The article, titled 'We do not report fairly on Muslims', explores the state of the British press in representing British Muslims, and catalogues a rising cohort of British Muslim journalists, reporters and broadcasters of note.
In this context, here's the full quote about my work:
"Nafeez Ahmed is one of the most courageous and interesting investigative reporters of our time. An expert on the environment and the war on terror, he has published a number of books, blogged for The Guardian, and now runs a think tank. His articles can make very uncomfortable reading for the media and political elite. I recommend them."
For those unaware, Peter Oborne was for many years the chief political commentator at The Daily Telegraph. He resigned from The Telegraph quite publicly while denouncing the paper's censorial partisanship toward HSBC based on receiving considerable ad money from the bank. He has since gone on to become a columnist at The Daily Mail and Middle East Eye (where I also write a column), as well as reporting for Channel 4's Dispatches and Unreported World.
The British Journalism Review (BJR) is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal providing a forum to discuss key issues relating to British media. The publication receives financial support from a spectrum of organisations, including some which I have criticised heavily in my reporting: the BBC, Channel 4, Google, The Guardian, News UK, Sky News, Trinity Mirror.
The BJR piece also identifies many other British Muslim journalists who are pushing forward in the UK media space. It makes for an illustrious list of names to be associated with: Mishal Hussein (BBC Today presenter), Faisal Islam (Sky News political editor), Fatima Manji (Channel 4 News presenter), Mehreen Khan (Brussels desk reporter at Financial Times), Farah Jassat (Newsnight producer), Roohi Hasan (ITV News producer), Nesrine Malik (Guardian columnist), and Mehdi Hasan (Al Jazeera presenter).
Under a section titled 'Hope for the future', Oborne lists some other rising media Muslim superstars such as Aisha Gani (former Buzzfeed senior reporter), Mobeen Azhar (who won a Bafta for Muslims Like Us), Fozia Khan (producer of Channel 4's Extremely British Muslims), and Fatima Salaria (a BBC commissioning editor who commissioned Muslims Like Us and a series commemorating the partition of India).
Oborne's BJR article is important for a number of reasons. Given the publication's standing in the British journalism industry, its observations can to some extent be seen as throwing light on the way discussions are evolving within the industry.
The BJR piece fully recognises that Muslims are badly represented in the media, and that this has a great deal to do with the lack of representation of Muslims in employment in the media.
It also highlights growing contributions to mainstream media discourse from an underrepresented minority in the UK. It's heartening for me to be identified among this list (in the 'Hope for the future' section), despite operating with an unusual degree of independence as a crowdfunded journalist often writing critically on conventional political and media narratives - which confirms that this writing is, indeed, getting noticed and having an impact.
For this, I must thank my patrons who support my work at patreon.com/nafeez. Without them, my journalism wouldn't be possible.