About

Celebrating the best of the UK’s diverse media talent

The Ethnic Media Awards are the flagship awards programme for minority ethnic diversity in the journalism and media profession. Our awards recognise, promote and reward outstanding achievement in the media and entertainment industry, honouring the excellence of talented individuals who are pushing the boundaries of accomplishment in their field.

Our mission is to recognise and raise awareness of individuals who may currently be overlooked and to promote champions from a range of minority ethnic backgrounds who are shaping the future of the media industry.

Our History

Our Awards programme was created by Romail Gulzar, the Managing Editor of Pukaar News and Pukaar Magazine. After years of working as a video journalist, Romail recognised that many talented minority ethnic journalists were being overlooked. These Awards are an opportunity to celebrate these individuals who have delivered extraordinary campaigns and highlight the benefits of employing a diverse media staff to news and media organisations around the world.

A 2017 Ofcom report found that ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the industry, making up only 12% of employees across the five main broadcasters – much lower than the UK population average of 14%. In senior positions this is even lower, with only 6% of senior roles in the BBC made up of people from an ethnic minority background. These Awards make positive strides towards increasing representation in the industry and changing the culture in the media professional workplace.

Our Values

Our Awards are founded on a number of values including: diversity, transparency and passion. These values are the reasons that our programme exists and demonstrate the key issues that we consistently support within the industry.

Diversity – we believe that diversity and inclusion must be embedded in every media organisation’s corporate culture. By supporting diversity efforts, organisations can experience the positive impact that a diverse team will bring.

Transparency – we believe in working to restore the trust and credibility within the media industry. We recognise and reward transparent and best practice reporting campaigns amongst journalists who have excelled within their field and we utilise a strict judging process with clear criteria and evidence.

Passion – we’re driven by our love for the media industry and a desire to celebrate and reward excellence. Our programme is dedicated to supporting diverse talents and enabling them with the confidence, resources and platform they need to succeed.

Our Founder

Romail Gulzar was inspired to create the Awards after experiencing the disparity in ethnic diversity in the journalism industry. As the Managing Editor Of Pukaar News, Romail has a wealth of experience within different types of media organisations. He has worked as a video journalist for ITV, is owner and publisher of Pukaar Magazine, provided PR support for many organisastions. He sees the Awards as a chance to celebrate and honour the achievements and contribution minority ethnic professionals have made in producing outstanding journalism. 

Currently sitting on the diversity panel for ITV central, Romail recognises the positive impact that support from being shortlisted for the awards can grant finalists, which is why the Awards have been designed to raise awareness, promote finalist’s work and give them the vital platform they need to share their message.

Passionate about supporting the community, Romail has received a number of acknowledgements for his work in the voluntary sector, including a Nationwide Award for Voluntary Endeavour and an Outstanding Contribution Awards for Community Work in Leicester. Romail has also been recognised as one of most influential people in Leicestershire by the local newspaper (Leicester Mercury).

The Ethnic Media Awards Ceremony

The annual awards ceremony takes place in London in September, at a prestigious venue with a stunning black-tie ceremony that represents the importance of the accolade. Attended by finalists, prominent organisations and representatives from the industry, the awards ceremony is an opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and celebrate key achievements within the sector. (Date of award ceremony and the location will be announced soon)

The Judging Process

Our judging process is completely transparent, with each individual recognised on their own merit. We reward talented journalists and media professionals who have delivered unique performances across a range of criteria, including production, news-reading and more. There are two ways to be entered into the competition – through employer recommendation or by being nominated from our expert judging panel, which consists of a multitude of prominent media and business professionals across the country.

Find out more about the judging process here.