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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 and Leeds. 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issue of Red Pepper – Empire Will Eat Itself – which was written exclusively by black writers and where previously unpublished writers, reporting directly from their own communities, sat comfortably alongside acclaimed authors and artists like Walden Bello and Barby Asante, who have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 September, our open editorial meeting will take place between 3-5pm on 23rd September at 68, Middle Street as part of the World Transformed festival of politics, art, music and culture. The meeting is POC only. TWT wrist-band holders and non-wrist band holders are all welcome. 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.