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Sunday, July 14, 2024

From daughter of a newsagents to owning a newspaper, our editor gets candid about journalism for Bradford SAHM

RF Publishing's own Fatima Patel is sitting down with Aisha Iqbal Khan to talk all things journalism.

Asian Standard and Asian Sunday Online’s very own editor-in-chief Fatima Patel will be joining Aisha Iqbal Khan, a senior regional journalist with almost 20 years of experience to discuss what it is like to be in the journalism game.

Celebrating Asian Sunday’s 10th birthday this month, Ms Patel will take to Zoom on Saturday 7 July from 2pm to 3pm to discuss her journey from being a child of newsagents to a titan journalist known across West Yorkshire and beyond for her no-nonsense approach to news reporting as part of Bradford’s South Asian Heritage Month celebrations.

South Asian Heritage Month runs from 18 July to 17 August and is the official celebration of all things South Asian.

Founding Editor of Asian Sunday & Asian Standard Fatima Patel.

The month seeks to raise the profile of British South Asian heritage and history in the UK through education, arts, culture and commemoration, with the goal of helping people to better understand the diversity of present-day Britain and improve social cohesion across the country.

With a penchant for news stemming from the times of leafing through papers in her parent’s shop, Ms Patel entered the world of tech before the fast-paced world of journalism.

A serendipitous redundancy from an uninspiring job in I.T. Ms Patel, along with the backing of her mother, launched Asian Sunday.  Asian Sunday made history with its launch back in 2011, being the first free Sunday newspaper in Britain. It was originally a local Bradford-based paper that was delivered door to door.  The publication made waves within the Asian media print industry as it offered news and features that focused on issues affecting British South Asians living and working in Bradford.

Asian Sunday was at the forefront of breaking news that impacted the South Asian community at large. Not only that, it played a vital role in connecting and reaching out to the wider community increasing community cohesion and engagement.

Since then, Asian Sunday has been revamped as an online-only portal, with the company, I&E media, that owned the initial paper becoming RF Publishing. Asian Standard replaced the weekly Sunday newspaper and is now available in four regions in Bradford, Kirklees, Leeds, and North East, with plans of launching six more titles by 2025.

RF Publishing is special because it is the only media outlet in the UK with multiple Asian publications, that is solely owned by women, a mother and daughter operation.

Through groundbreaking investigative pieces and ethical journalism that reports on news that South Asian people in these areas want to read, Asian Standard is a leading voice in independent journalism.

Owning and running a successful newspaper for a decade doesn’t come without its challenges. Ms Patel and Ms Khan will discuss the response from within and outside the South Asian community and the importance of independent print media in today’s digital age.

From rubbing shoulders with Britain’s most influential people, politicians, celebrities, and Bollywood megastars, Ms Patel will also share some of her proudest moments from working in the print industry.

Reporting ethically and being ethical is at the heart of RF Publishing and what drives Ms Patel. With a passion for female empowerment, Ms Patel runs her own foundation, the Inspirational Women Foundation which helps support, empower and network women together for success and to champion the flag of equality.

The event is a must for anyone interested in learning about the nature of the ‘media’ and how it’s changed, how to get stories told, and how sometimes you have to step up to get your stories told.

Ms Patel said: “I wanted a publication that gave me everything I wanted in a newspaper. There wasn’t anything at that time, so I decided to do it myself!”

You can book tickets to the event here

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