Beyond Borders: Panel Debate

7th March 2017 6pm – 7pm 


London College of Communication

Elephant & Castle


This panel debate tackles some of the themes raised during The Refugee Journalism Project, which has supported exiled and refugee journalists in re-establishing their careers in the UK. The debate will explore key issues around migration and journalism – the representation of migrants in the media; news values in the reporting of conflicts and humanitarian disasters; diversity in industry recruitment.

It will be chaired by Afua Hirsch, Sky News’ Social Affairs and Education Editor. Afua was previously the Guardian Newspaper’s first West Africa correspondent. Based in Accra Ghana, Afua covered the war in Mali, the terrorist attacks at the Westgate Mall in Kenya and multi billion pound corruption scandal in Guinea, as well as other stories across more than 20 countries.

Panellists to include:

Fatima Manji, newsreader, Channel 4 News
Fatima joined the Channel 4 News in January 2012 and since then has worked on a variety of stories including the NatWest banking problems, Apple unwittingly encouraging phone theft, and returning to her own school to look at job prospects for school leavers. Before this Fatima was a reporter, presenter and video journalist for the BBC in the East of England, where she investigated stories including exploitative landlords and hate crime against migrants. In 2015, Fatima was a finalist for the Royal Television Society’s Young Journalist of the Year award.
Maurice Wren, Chief Executive, Refugee Council
Maurice joined the Refugee Council as Chief Executive in March 2013, having previously worked in the homelessness and refugee protection fields with Shelter and Asylum Aid, where he was Director for 12 years. Maurice co-founded the ground-breaking Independent Asylum Commission in 2007 and Detention Forum in 2009, and is presently Co-Chair of the National Asylum Stakeholder Forum at the Home Office and Chair of UK Refugee Week. He is a Trustee of Migrant Voice; Every Casualty Worldwide; and the European Network on Statelessness; and was made a Patron of Action Foundation in 2016.

Tom Law, Director of Campaigns and Communications, Ethical Journalism Network
The Ethical Journalism Network aims to strengthen the craft of journalism and to promote high ethical standards in media through education, training and publication of useful research. Prior to joining the EJN in 2015, Tom worked as a freelance journalist specialising in covering Sudan and South Sudan, writing for websites including Al Jazeera and VICE Magazine. From 2010 to 2014 Tom was the associate editor of Sudan Tribune, a leading news website in the region.

Abdulwahab Tahhan, Researcher, Airwars
Abdulwahab was raised in Aleppo, Syria. He previously worked on The Suffering Grasses – a documentary about Syrian refugees which went on to win six awards. Now based in the UK, in 2015 he worked as a volunteer for Amnesty Yemen team. In 2016, with the assistance of the Refugee Journalism Project, Abdulwahab became a volunteer with Airwars, where he’s now a full time researcher. His work focuses in particular on Russia’s actions.

About the Refugee Journalism Project:

The RJP is a collaboration between London College of Communication and the Migrants Resource Centre. It has worked with participants from many countries including Syria, Sudan, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Yemen. Collectively, they have an impressive array of experience in the media industry – broadcasting, print, and photography. Yet, despite being qualified and experienced professionals, most have been unable to gain paid or unpaid work within the British media.

The motivation for the project is based on concerns about levels of anti-immigrant sentiment in Britain and the role of some sectors in the media in driving negative coverage of this controversial topic. By enabling the inclusion of more refugee voices in the journalism sector, the project attempts to challenge this.

About the Beyond Borders exhibition:

The refugee journalists’ past, present and future will be explored through a multimedia exhibition accompanying the debate. This work includes collaborations between the refugee journalists and UAL students.

For more information on the project, please visit:

The RJP project is a collaboration between London College of Communication and the Migrants Resource Centre. It is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

[Image by UAL student Maite Diez]

Event details