The 2020 Journalist of the Year Finalists

Our 2020 list is made up of some of the UK’s leading journalists who have kept us informed on changing world events, raised important subject matter and questioned those in authority.

The Journalist of the Year Award category is supported by Manchester Metropolitan University & Routes Into Languages North West.

Imran Ali
Senior Camera Journalist, BBC News

Imran Ali is a senior camera journalist with BBC News and has produced and filmed stories for many sections of the BBC, such as Newsnight, BBC Online and BBC Inside Out. He has researched, produced, filmed, scripted and edited many of his own news stories for 12 years.

These powerful news stories that have brought awareness to current situations and shed light on the issues people are facing every day.

Imran was one of the first BBC representatives on the scene during the London Bridge stabbing attack and was responsible for gathering reports and interviewing eye witnesses.

He has covered the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest for their duration where tried to bring London to a standstill in order to highlight awareness to climate change issues.

More recently he has been at the forefront in reporting on the coronavirus pandemic and during the lockdown he was working every day, updating and producing news packages to keep audiences informed on events. He travelled to many different places and regions across the UK, many high-risk areas, such as hospitals and care homes, in order to bring news stories to the nation. In the past he has visited countries overseas to report from the frontline and major world events

Assed Baig
Iran Correspondent, Al-Jazeera English

Assed Baig is Al-Jazeera’s Iran correspondent and has been at the frontline in reporting some of the major events in the region over the past year. It was in early January when news spread of Iran targeting United States targets in Iraq.

This came just days after the US had assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in neighbouring Iraq. International viewers turned to Al Jazeera for news and analysis and as one of the only foreign correspondents based in Iran, Assed led the coverage on the 24=hour news channel.

Assed was the only foreign reporter in Tehran during the funeral as the supreme leader led the prayers in the capital. He had gained exclusive access with Iran’s revolutionary guard – something unheard of for a foreign journalist.

The guards had taken Al Jazeera out to a British flagged ship that they had detained as a response they said to one of their tankers being seized off the coast of Gibraltar by the British. As sanctions hit Iran hard – Assed reported on how one cancer clinic’s prices had risen and how staff were always worried about equipment breaking down.

Assed reported on how voter turnout was the lowest since the Iranian revolution and how it had resulted in the most conservative parliament since 1979. Iran was the worst hit country in the Middle East during the Covid 19 global pandemic.

Assed reported on the outbreak from Tehran and called into question the numbers given by the government from those dying of the virus.

Anila Dhami
Freelance Journalist

In her roles as a presenter and producer during the qualifying period, Anila has worked as a freelance journalist with the BBC World Service, Wion News, BBC Newsnight, The Telegraph and Channel 5’s The Jeremy Vine Show.

She has also aimed to inspire and motivate others through her social media. As a freelance Broadcast Journalist at the BBC World Service, she worked on the flagship program Newshour, broadcasting to 450 million people around the world.

She secured interviews with the leading party the BJP in India and though a predominantly UK-focused program, she pitched a story on India’s Citizenship Amendment Act. Later securing an interview with author and activist Arundhati Roy.

Having made connections with the India-based company Wion (World Is One) she became their UK Correspondent. She helped revolutionise a long-standing, traditional newspaper by launching The Telegraph’s audio service on Amazon Alexa, Spotify, and Podcast.

On her new website she launched a digital series named ‘At Home With Anila’ and interviewed Hollywood actor Rose McGowan, who initiated the #MeToo movement.

She has co-founded and is Vice Chair of the Global Indian Creatives (GIC), with backing from the House of Lords.

The group aims to boost the presence of Indians in the creative industries by pairing underrepresented talent with those at the top. During the coronavirus pandemic, she created an online workshop called ‘Create Public Speaking Confidence’ and self-taught how to put an entire workshop together.

Ashish Joshi
Health Correspondent, Sky News

Ashish is one of only a handful of specialist Health Correspondents in the UK reporting throughout the pandemic.

Ashish has been covering every development of coronavirus from the very first case in this country, through the peak of the first wave and now as the NHS prepares for another difficult winter under the shadow of a second wave.

He has interviewed countless family members who have lost loved ones, survivors of COVID 19, health workers on the front-line, senior members of the Government and scientists who are racing to find the vaccine.

He was one of the first journalists to relay the fears expressed by doctors over the shortage of PPE.

Never has one story affected so many of us and reporting the pandemic has placed a great responsibility on every journalist covering it.

Ashish has been the face of Sky News Coronavirus Coverage of the pandemic and millions of viewers have been informed about this health emergency thanks to his comprehensive reporting.

Over the past year he also investigated the detention of people with a learning disability or autism in secure hospitals. Sky News’s reporting of these scandals has led to a NHS England review into the 40 deaths and the findings used as evidence in a recent human rights parliamentary inquiry.

Nazia Parveen
North of England Correspondent, The Guardian

Nazia has been working in a fast-paced news environment as a journalist for more than a decade now and joined the Guardian from the Daily Mail almost five years ago.

She covered the Hashem Abedi case from its onset and for this reason following his trial she was able to secure a number of exclusives.

With the BAME community disproportionately affected by coronavirus Nazia wrote a number of features and shorter pieces demonstrating the enormity of the crisis unfolding within these pockets in the UK, whilst others remained relatively unscathed.

In reference to a UN complaint, she visited plantations in Kenya to experience first-hand the plight of the people of Kericho.

Demystifying hiking and the countryside was the subject matter for a piece on the Asian hiking group blazing a trail through Scotland’s peaks.

During the election she explored why the Labour party would suffer a devastating result in the Midlands partially due to their staunch Muslim supporters deciding to take their votes elsewhere.

She also secured a number of further exclusives including how LGBT protests were being hijacked by people with extremist leanings and in an investigation she revealed that the protests were beginning to spread across the country.

Ranvir Singh
Political Editor, Good Morning Britain, ITV

Ranvir is one of the UK’s foremost journalists and live broadcasters. As Good Morning Britain’s Political Editor, transmitting live most days from outside No.10 Downing Street she brings the nation the political news they are waking up to – from the latest lines on Covid-19 to breaking Brexit news. She is also a co-host on the show, regularly covering for Susanna Reid and Kate Garraway.

Ranvir is a regular presenter on the lunchtime and 6 O’clock ITV National News and host ITV’s Eat, Shop, Save – the consumer show in which she and a team of experts give families an eight week challenge to get fitter, eat better and save money on their shopping.

She’s also brought her inimitable skills to host Loose Women for the first time.

The Preston-born presenter is also fronting a new Sunday morning show, alongside GMB meteorologist Alex Beresford, named ‘All Around Britain’.

When a car crashed into barriers at Westminster and Ranvir, who was hosting GMB that day, guided the audience through the breaking news with the help of the GMB correspondent who was the only journalist live at the scene.

This broadcast won the Golden Nymph Award for Breaking News in 2019. Live from the Conservative Party conference last year, Ranvir doorstepped Boris Johnson live on air, to ask him to stop and talk to the show.

As soon as the nation went into lockdown, Ranvir remained at her post – bringing the nation information about the latest coronavirus news. Off air, Ranvir has a digital series called #AskRanvir. Most recently this has concentrated on the pandemic and generated over 1.2 million impressions.

This year’s Asian Media Awards ceremony will take place digitally on Thursday 19 November.

Previous recipients of an Asian Media Award include Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Waris Hussein, Art Malik, Mehdi Hasan, Nina Wadia, Anita Rani, Shobna Gulati & Faisal Islam.

The University of Salford are premier sponsors and partners to the awards include ITV, MediaCom, Reach PLC, M.E.N, & Press Association Training.

The awards are also supported by Manchester Metropolitan University, Routes Into Languages North West, AMT Lawyers, DKR Accountants, 6G Internet, Hilton Manchester Deansgate, Supreme Dream Events, Payal Events & Cleartwo.

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