The Refugee Council’s Chief Executive, Maeve Sherlock, is on a panel of judges for this year’s London Local Press Awards, being hosted by Mayor Ken Livingstone on 20 July 2005.
The awards are to recognise good practice in the reporting of asylum issues, and are aimed at London’s local press – extending also to the capital’s faith, regional and Black, Asian and minority ethnic press.
Organisations may nominate publications for four categories of award, by completing the entry form and submitting it with examples. Entries should be received by 28 June 2005. The awards ceremony will take place on 21st July 2005 at City Hall.
Mayor Ken Livingstone said,
“London is built on successive waves of immigration and diversity is one of the city’s great strengths. For Londoners, immigration is a way of life and each new wave, including asylum seekers and refugees has enhanced London as a global city. However, negative media images of refugees and asylum seekers contribute to making them among London’s most vulnerable residents, facing insecurity, social exclusion and hostility. The media has a responsibility to present a fair and accurate picture of London and its diversity. These awards aim to recognise those local newspapers, which are acting in a more responsible way. ”
The awards scheme follows independent research commissioned by the Mayor into media coverage of refugee and asylum issues. The “Media Image, Community Impact” report published last year, found evidence among the national press of unbalanced and inaccurate coverage, which was likely to cause fear and tension within communities across London. These community tensions can influence incidents of racial harassment of asylum seekers. The research also found that the local press are more likely than national press to provide a balanced picture on the issues that affect local people.