Channel 4 news reporter Samira Ahmed told a group of aspiring leaders on the Three Faiths Forum Undergraduate Parliamentors (UP) programme that more could be done to address inequality in news coverage.
Samira spoke at the UP Annual Lecture for current students and alumni of the programme, where she asserted that the media often chose quick news stories based on sensation which excluded minority voices and perspectives. She said: “We need to broaden our horizons and assume less. We should all, as journalists, and as citizens, take the time to find out about the society in which we live and other people’s beliefs.”
She added: “The problem is not the background of people, per se, but the refusal sometimes, to acknowledge that their relatively narrow social and gender backgrounds are not neutral.”
Students on the award winning UP programme then had the chance to ask questions from the floor and to speak to Samira one to one.
Kash Hussain, a UP participant said: “What stood out for me was the advice she was willing to offer to anyone who approached her after the lecture ended, which was greatly appreciated by everyone who spoke to her. We gained a first-hand vision of how the field extends beyond the newsroom.
The event was a mind-opening experience of how to approach journalism and broadcasting, permitting me the potential to understand how Samira Ahmed’s journey into the public eye can help develop my own future aspirations.”