A British journalism prize established for Black journalists within the wake of world Black Lives Matter protests has been cancelled as part of a push to “broaden dedication to variety throughout the occasion”.
The Barbara Blake-Hannah award, named in honour of the UK’s first Black on-screen TV information reporter, was launched by the British Journalism Awards (BJA) in August 2020 to recognise the work of ethnic minority reporters and encourage others to “break by way of obstacles” in the way in which that she did.
Jamaican journalist Ms Blake-Hannah began out as a tv reporter in 1968, working for Thames TV, and went on to interview well-known figures together with prime minister Harold Wilson and actor Michael Caine.
The journalist’s UK-based profession got here to an abrupt finish shortly after her contract was ended, following racist complaints from some viewers to “get that n***** off our screens”. After that, she returned to Jamaica in 1972.
Information of her name-sake prize was broadly welcomed and met with a lot fanfare, spurring a flurry of media tales throughout TV, press and radio interviews in Britain and past.
Chatting with The Impartial about its termination, Ms Blake-Hannah mentioned: “I nonetheless have my identify and my historical past. I used to be identified earlier than the Press Gazette award and all the time can be. Others could want to use my identify to encourage others.
“Jamaicans, Rastafari, film-makers and home-schooling mother and father do. Black British journalists have all the time given me honour and tribute. They gave me an award in 2012. I lose nothing however Black journalists misplaced a small door that was opened”.
Ms Barbara , 82, whose father Evon Blake began the Press Affiliation in Jamaica, mentioned she felt no “misery by any means” and as an alternative “smiles” when reflecting on her legacy and UK profession.
Since returning to Jamaica, the veteran journalist launched a profitable profession as a filmmaker and has additionally been an impartial senator within the nation’s parliament.
“Now we have determined to increase the Barbara Blake Hannah Award right into a wider recognition of the necessity for variety and inclusion,” a press release from the Press Gazette, which is behind the BJAs, reads.
“For the final two years this prize was given to the most effective up-and-coming journalist from a black and minority ethnic background. We now need to guarantee a various vary of persons are recognised throughout the awards, not targeted on one class.
“We’re vastly grateful to Barbara for lending her identify to our awards for the 2 years we’ve got given a prize in her honour, and for uplifting a brand new technology of journalists along with her instance of breaking by way of obstacles within the face of racism.
“We now need to deepen and broaden our dedication to variety throughout the occasion.”
The thought for the award was that of journalist Bree Johnson – the one two winners are Kuba Shand-Baptiste and Aniefiok Ekpoudom.
The Press Gazette continues to have an awards class on “Social affairs, variety and inclusion” and mentioned it continued to work arduous to make sure that the British Journalism Awards displays our entire business and the UK inhabitants as an entire.
This 12 months the occasion will once more be free to enter for journalists from beforehand under-represented teams who shouldn’t have a information organisation prepared to assist their entry.
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