"Thank you to the Asian Media Awards for this."
Thursday, October 24, 2019, saw the seventh annual Asian Media Awards (AMA) take place at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate.
The event was sponsored by the University of Salford and it was attended by journalists, bloggers and media professionals.
Partners of the ceremony included ITV, MediaCom, Manchester Evening News and Press Association Training.
Channel 5 News presenter Dani Sinha hosted the event.
The 2019 AMAs saw the likes of journalist Ash Sarkar, actress Shobna Gulati and royal photographer Anwar Hussein pick up prestigious awards.
Ash received the ‘Media Personality of the Year,’ becoming the youngest winner of the award. She said:
“I genuinely believe that there is no such thing as individual success.
“I think we are the grateful recipients of all the people who fought before us, all the people who fight for us who we don’t know and all the people who fight alongside us.
“The first person I want to thank fighting for me is my mum. The reason I want to thank her is that any one of the values I hold dear is because of her.
“She is a dedicated anti-racist, a feminist. Her and my grandmother set up the first domestic violence shelters in this country. And she also raised me and my sister single-handedly.”
Ash then joked:
“Thank you to the Asian Media Awards for this. To win an award which previously honoured the likes of Krishnan Guru Murthy, Fatima Manji, Naga Munchetty…thank you so much for lowering your standards this year!
“I still haven’t processed it, because the people who won it before me are the people I grew up watching on screen.
“What I can’t compute is that I’m a person who shares a screen with them, so in terms of what it means, ask me in ten years because right now I’m just stunned.”
The ‘Sophiya Haque Services to British Television and Film Award’ was presented to actress Shobna Gulati who mentioned:
“It feels incredible. When I first found out I thought it wasn’t for me.
“In fact, I said when I was up there, I’m accepting this for all the pioneers, the South Asians that have been on screen.”
“There’s not been many, but it’s for all of them that have been there on our journey together, opening those doors.”
BBC’s Newsnight picked up the coveted ‘MMU Journalist of the Year’ and the ‘TV Report of the Year.’
Yasminara Khan won the ‘Journalist of the Year Award ‘for her investigative work while Katie Razzall picked up the TV Report prize for ‘Britain’s Yellow Vest Activists.’ Yasminara said:
“It’s shocking, exciting and I’m just really happy. I’ve been lucky to work on a range of films that particularly impact on the South Asian community, like the far-right, LGBT issues or Windrush.
“My advice for anyone is it’s hard, but be authentic. And chase. Chase stories. When you feel it, you know. Obviously be backed up by the facts, but chase it, be authentic and be tenacious.”
The ‘Best Investigation Award’ went to Rising Silence, which was about the experiences inflicted on Birongana women during the 1971 Bangladeshi war.
At the awards event, the filmmaker Leesa Gazi said:
“I am truly honoured today so thank you. Thank you to listening to the Birongona women of Bangladesh.
“Our film Rising Silence has nine accounts of the nine survivors. Five of them died during the post-production of the film but their stories will live on.
“So, thank you so much for recognising their plight and for listening to them.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and love for the entire production team of Rising Silence.”
ITV Central’s Rajiv Popat received the ‘Regional Journalist of the Year Award’ while Sky Sports News presenter Dharmesh Sheth was named ‘Sports Journalist of the Year.’
On the radio side, BBC Asian Network won two awards, with ‘Harpz Kaur bagging the ‘Radio Presenter of the Year’ award and Bobby Friction and his team winning ‘Best Radio Show’ for the second time.
In what was their 30th anniversary, Sunrise Radio was named ‘Radio Station of the Year.’
At the event, renowned royal photographer Anwar Hussein received the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Media Award’ in recognition of his 60-year career. Hussein expressed his delight saying:
“I’m pleasantly surprised to get this award. I never expected this so I will take it gracefully. Thank you.”
“It’s flabbergasting that I’ve been able to photograph all these people, not only that but sometimes to chat with them and their families. From Mandela to Mother Theresa, John Wayne, everybody.
“When I was living in Africa in a village, the only picture I saw of the queen was a little stamp. Then you come back 20 or 30 years later and my pictures are used in her stamps.
“I’ve got six pictures in her royal collection. It’s amazing.
“People like John Wayne, I used to see them in little cinemas and then I come to meet John Wayne, and I sit with him and he teaches me how to smoke a cigar. Who would have thought?”
The likes of Sunetra Sarkar and Nabhaan Rizwan also picked up awards.
Here is the full list of winners for the 2019 Asian Media Awards:
Media Personality of the Year
Outstanding Contribution to Media
The Sophiya Haque Services to British Television & Film
MMU Journalist of the Year
Yasminara Khan – Journalist and Producer, BBC Newsnight
Sports Journalist of the Year
Dharmesh Sheth – Reporter and Presenter, Sky Sports News
Outstanding Young Journalist
Inzamam Rashid – Correspondent, Sky News
Regional Journalist of the Year
Rajiv Popat – ITV Central
Radio Station of the Year
Radio Presenter of the Year
Regional Radio Station of the Year
Rising Star in Radio
Best Radio Show
Bobby Friction – BBC Asian Network
TV Report of the Year
Britain’s Yellow-Vest Activists
TV Channel of the Year
Best TV Character
Sunetra Sarker as Kaneez Paracha in Ackley Bridge
AMA Best Newcomer
Best Programme/Show (Entertainment)
Man Like Mobeen
Best Programme/Show (Factual)
The Curry House Kid
Creative Media Award
Asian Women and Cars: The Road to Independence – Dawinder Bansal
Media Agency of the Year
Best Stage Production
Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual
Best Live Event
The London Mela
Best Video Channel
Mistah Islah for Corner Shop Show
Vogue Wonders – Arooj Aftab
The Asian Media Awards highlights the importance of Asian media within the UK and the role it plays in bringing ethnic communities and the mainstream media together.
The twenty-six winners prove that the Asian Media Awards can only get bigger and better. Congratulations to all of the winners.