Sarfraz Manzoor: Some of the faces are not white, but newspapers are still a 'posh club'

Writer and broadcaster Sarfraz Manzoor fears that people from working class backgrounds are not joining the journalism industry.

Speaking at the launch of the Asian Media Awards shortlist he said: “To put it bluntly we have plenty of brown faces in the media but if those brown faces belong to middle class privately educated Oxbridge types how much progress have we made?”

Manzoor was himself educated at comprehensive school and began his career on Channel 4 News. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian and other titles.

He said: ”I think it is literally astonishing – you may have seen that photograph of a conference in Saudi Arabia that is discussing women’s issues and everyone in the conference hall is a man. We laugh at that and yet it’s pretty much like that in every newspaper morning meeting.

“Changes to the newspaper industry and the decline of staff jobs and the rise in freelancing has had a disproportionately severe impact on those from working class backgrounds meaning that the media today feels as much a posh club as it ever has.

“It’s just that some of those posh faces are not white. This is not just a moral failure but a journalistic one.”

The Asian Media Awards winners will be announced at the Hilton Manchester on 29 October.  

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