New Union role for Tony and Shazma

Birmingham Press Club members Tony Adams and his daughter Shazma Javed have been elected to the National Union of Journalists Black Members Council.

Tony (right), who has been appointed vice-chairman, is seen here with Jim Boumelha, Simon Hinds, new chairman Marc Wadsworth and Shazma. Tony is currently in his second term as chairman of the Birmingham and Coventry NUJ branch, while Shazma is a media student at Birmingham City University.

Top of the agenda at the inaugural meeting of the Black Members Council (BMC) was the shock unleashing of a wave of racist attacks and xenophobia following the Brexit decision.

As well as setting out an ambitious programme of work for the next twelve months, the BMC will be focusing on lobbying to build on the proposed diversity change to the BBC's charter that is included in the Government’s white paper and demand it brings in penalties for corporation executives who do not reach agreed targets.

The BMC will also work to recruit more black journalists to the union, including young people working in digital media.

In the light of the fall out from the EU referendum, particularly the rise in racism and anti-foreigner abuse in Britain, the BMC will be pressing the NUJ leadership to organise a union-wide debate on the coverage of Brexit, looking at the pressures put on journalists and the need for a conscience clause and the reaffirmation of the union’s code of conduct and race reporting guidelines.

The BMC gave its total support to Marc Wadsworth after he was victimised as part of a manufactured story, that made print and broadcast headlines, which slanderously accused him of anti-semitism.