Ofcom: Take a stand to support diversity and combat racism in UK Media!

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My name is Tasnim Nazeer and I am a journalist and freelance TV reporter based in Glasgow. I did my first TV report for STV News this year and felt that I had finally broken through a glass ceiling that I had been under for so long. Since the report I was deemed to be the first hijab-wearing TV reporter in Scottish TV history, but I want to see all types of people reflected on our screens.

It wasn’t easy getting to this point. STV News has been a role model organisation in purely taking me on to tell the story and for my ability to do the job. Other outlets haven’t always been like that. I’ve been told by those I networked with in the media that I had potential and the skills but didn't have the right look wearing my hijab. 

And the sad thing is that I am not the only one. Ex-journalists across the country are starting to speak out about leaving the industry because of the terrible discrimination and racism they faced. They felt driven out. 

That’s why I am calling on OFCOM (the UK's broadcast regulator) to set up an independent complaints and support body that people who have faced issues of discrimination or racism within the media could turn to for help. Because EVERYONE deserve to feel safe at work and have the opportunity to succeed.

Mainstream media has a diversity problem. And this problem impacts everyone. It’s so crucial that media organisations in the UK have representation on screen that reflects the national portrait of the society we live in and that also extends to other creative sectors. 

I believe the first step to improving that representation, is making people of colour within the sector feel safe, and make  sure those that discriminate within the industry are held to account. 

Please join me in calling on Ofcom to make sure UK media organisations are held to account for racism and discrimination by signing my petition.

Thank you.