Image: Red Pepper's June/July 2017 edition, written exclusively by black writers
What is the Black Journalism Fund?
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.
What have we created?
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issue of Red Pepper – Empire Will Eat Itself – which was written exclusively by black writers and where previously unpublished writers, reporting directly from their own communities, sat comfortably alongside acclaimed authors and artists like Walden Bello and Barby Asante, who have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.
Paid commission opportunities
To-date, four articles have been published as paid Black Journalism Fund commissions:
- Ayo Wallace on the life and legacy of Bernie Grant
- Ishiaba Kasonga on the violence of coltan in DR Congo
- Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi on the deportation of a “foreign criminal”
- Dipesh Pandya on the documentary cinema of Sanjay Kak
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:
- Amandla Thomas-Johnson on the inauguration of Donald Trump
- Ama Josephine Budge on a futurism that’s built on non-reactionary foundations
- Omar Barghouti on the One-State Solution in Palestine
- Penny Wangari-Jones on how to understand intersectionality
September in Brighton at The World Transformed (TWT)
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 for People of Colour only. The World Transformed wrist-band holders and non-wrist band holders are all welcome. Please e-mail [email protected] to register attendance.
Getting in touch
If you’d like to submit an article or discuss a new idea, drop a line to [email protected]