The Black Journalism Fund is an initiative of Red Pepper magazine. It was launched through a crowd-funding campaign in the summer of 2016, with the aim of addressing the disproportionate representation of BAME journalists in the UK media and the distorted perspective that comes from that basic inequality.
Since March 2017, the fund has been run through open editorial meetings that have taken place so far in London, Leeds and Brighton. They are designed to offer a space where BAME writers, organisers and activists of varying levels of experience can get together to share stories, skills and points of view and work collectively to create an autonomous editorial agenda.
In its first few months, the open editorial meetings of the Black Journalism Fund have resulted in the publication of the June/July issue of Red Pepper – Empire Will Eat Itself – which was written exclusively by black writers and where previously unpublished writers, reporting directly from their own communities, sat comfortably alongside acclaimed authors and artists like Walden Bello and Barby Asante, who have written on issues including the failure of Obama’s Keynesian reforms and the enduring legacy of American writer, James Baldwin.
To-date, 4 articles have been published as paid Black Journalism Fund commissions:
Paid commissions are remunerated at a rate of £200 for an article of 2000-3000 words. The criteria is long-form reportage (i.e. not op-ed). In the words of Gary Younge (who acts as mentor to this project) – “Where are you going to go, and who are you going to meet?” Black Journalism Fund commissions should shine light on undocumented frontiers of race and racism in the world today.
Since March, we’ve also published many more unpaid articles in Red Pepper as part of our campaign to deepen and broaden the influence of anti-racism across the alternative UK media, and moving forward we’ll also be collaborating and co-publishing with online publications including Open Democracy and Lacuna Magazine. Here are more examples of the work we’ve been putting out:
In October, our open editorial meeting will take place between 5-7pm on 13th October. We will be meeting inside the Laidlaw Library, Leeds University. The meeting is POC only. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register attendance.
If you’d like to submit an article or discuss a new idea, drop a line to email@example.com.
Mike Peters explores the legacy of Steve Biko, a radical who spent his life fighting for Black liberation and for the overthrow of the Apartheid government in South Africa.
Vijay Prashad talks to Daniel Whittall about socialism, anti-imperialism and the new global research network Tricontinental.
Remi Joseph-Salisbury writes that institutional racism is not just about individual teachers, but a lack of clear school-wide or nationwide policy.
Some may herald the Royal Wedding as a triumph for racial equality - but that depends on a total misunderstanding of how racism works. By Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury and Dr Laura Connelly.
The Home Office estimates that there are currently around 13,000 slaves in the UK, though other sources suggest this is a a gross underestimate. And yet most of us remain oblivious to this reality of contemporary Britain, writes Abda Khan.
Drawing connections between events as disparate as the ‘social murder’ of Grenfell and recent mudslides in Sierra Leone, Remi Joseph-Salisbury points to the enduring relevance of Pan African thought for anti-racist struggle today.