Second letter in response to the Society of Editors

Haroon Siddique
4 min readJul 20, 2021


On Thursday (15 July) the Society of Editors announced the winners of its annual awards which were postponed after widespread dismay and anger over its statement denying the existence of racism and bigotry in the UK press in its response to Oprah Winfrey’s interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

We are pleased that the nominees have finally been able to receive their awards but deplore the fact that the Society of Editors has not used the interim period or the event of the awards to show genuine commitment to atoning for its insulting and ham-fisted blanket denial of racism.

Without admitting that racism exists and retracting their previous missive, the Society of Editors are denying the lived experiences of journalists of colour as well as those who have had unfavourable media coverage purely because of the colour of their skin.

Instead the society seems to have taken a stance of offering a few crumbs in the hope that it will douse the anger it provoked.

The society’s diversity initiatives are welcome but inadequate. It does not have the power to solve the longstanding industry-wide issues of inequality and lack of coverage. However, what it can and should do is offer moral leadership. By its silence, it is singularly failing to do so.

We, the undersigned journalists of colour, cannot have faith in an organisation that is so detached from our reality and we would urge its member organisations to consider their continued participation in the group.

  1. Grace Shutti, Journalist, The Guardian
  2. Ore Agbaje-Williams, Editor
  3. Yassmin Abdel-Magied, writer, broadcaster
  4. Jason Okundaye Writer, Freelance
  5. Julia Carrie Wong, Journalist, Guardian US
  6. Aditya Chakrabortty, Senior economics commentator, The Guardian
  7. Lou Mensah, Broadcaster, Shade Podcast
  8. Nikhita Chulani, Editor, The Guardian
  9. Afua Adom, Journalist and broadcaster, Freelance
  10. Halima Ali, Journalist, The Guardian
  11. Kurt Barling, Professor of Journalism and fmr BBC Special Correspondent, Middlesex University
  12. Shona Ghosh, Senior editor, Insider
  13. Leone Ross, Writer/Editor, Freelance
  14. Joseph Harker, Journalist, The Guardian
  15. David Olusoga, Filmmaker/writer, Freelance
  16. Zita Holbourne, Writer and Author, BARAC UK
  17. Maya Wolfe-Robinson, Reporter, The Guardian
  18. Jeevan Ravindran, Journalist
  19. Keme Nzerem, correspondent, nzerem limited
  20. K Biswas, Critic, Editor of Representology
  21. Désirée Reynolds, Writer/Journalist, Freelance
  22. Mythili Rao, journalist, The Guardian
  23. Shaista Aziz, Journalist, Freelance
  24. Nosheen Iqbal, Journalist, The Guardian
  25. Marcus Ryder, Journalist, Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity
  26. Marverine Cole, Journalist & Broadcaster, Freelance
  27. Marvyn Harrison, Executive Editor, Dope Black Thought
  28. Suchandrika Chakrabarti, Writer, Freelance
  29. Ellen E Jones, Film and TV journalist, Freelance
  30. Preeti Jha, Journalist, Freelance
  31. Tara Srinivasan, Editor, The Guardian
  32. Shanthy Milne, Writer, journalist, documentary maker, Freelance
  33. Lola Okolosie, Writer, Freelance
  34. Germaine Slater-Arnold, Sub-editor, The Times and Sunday Times
  35. Mehreen Khan, Journalist, Financial Times
  36. Moya Lothian-Mclean, Editor, Gal-dem
  37. Zoe Daniel, Journalist, Freelance
  38. Josh Toussaint-Strauss, Journalist/producer, The Guardian
  39. Hibaq Farah, Journalist, City Journalism
  40. Holly Henry-Long, Producer, Freelance
  41. Kemi Alemoru, Journalist, gal-dem
  42. Annalisa Toccara, Journalist, Freelance
  43. Tchiyiwe Chihana, Journalist, African Voices Platform
  44. Priya Elan, Journalist, The Guardian
  45. Sachin Nakrani, Writer & Editor, The Guardian
  46. Homa Khaleeli, Journalist, The Guardian
  47. Mariel Richards, CEO, gal-dem
  48. Aasha Kimpton, Writer, Freelance
  49. Joshua Surtees, Writer/Journalist, The Guardian
  50. Marc Deanie, Journalist, DC Thomson
  51. Basit Mahmood, Co-editor, Left Foot Forward
  52. Tineka Smith, Author and writer
  53. Suyin Haynes, Editor in Chief, gal-dem
  54. Alice Xin Liu Writer, translator, editor, Freelance
  55. Rianna Walcott Writer, researcher, King’s College London/freelance
  56. Tara Joshi, Writer and music editor, gal-dem and freelance
  57. Anita Chaudhuri, Associate editor, Psychologies magazine
  58. Steve Rose, Writer, Freelance
  59. Anita Bhagwandas, Journalist, Freelance
  60. Radhika Holmstrom, Journalist, Freelance
  61. Mildred Talabi, Ex Journalist, Self-Employed
  62. Nina lakhani, Journalist, The Guardian
  63. Anita Sethi, Writer and journalist, author of ‘I Belong Here: a Journey Along the Backbone of Britain’ (Bloomsbury) Author, I Belong Here (Bloomsbury)
  64. Kuba Shand-Baptiste, Assistant Opinion Editor, The i
  65. Kyra Ho, Audio journalist, Freelance
  66. Micha Frazer-Carroll, Columnist, the Independent
  67. Sakhr Al-Makhadhi, Journalist
  68. Aaron Walawalkar, Journalist
  69. Laura Smith, Managing Editor, Speak Media
  70. Khaleda Rahman, Journalist, Newsweek
  71. Ian Wang, Culture writer, Freelance
  72. Shanthy Milne, Writer, journalist, documentary maker, Freelance
  73. Faima Bakar, Journalist, Freelance
  74. Maaiysa Valli, Journalist
  75. Rajitha Rebecca Ratnam, Content Designer, DVSA, Civil Service
  76. Zing Tsjeng, Editor, VICE UK
  77. Afshan D’souza-Lodhi, Writer
  78. Lucy Fulford, Journalist, Freelance
  79. Shirley May, Writer, freelance
  80. Abbianca, Journalist
  81. Coco Khan, Columnist, The Guardian
  82. Poppy Noor, Features editor, Guardian US
  83. Tania Branigan, Journalist, The Guardian
  84. Ammar Kalia, Journalist, The Guardian
  85. Hannah J Davies, Writer and editor, The Guardian
  86. Sam Phan, Writer, Freelance
  87. Angela Foster, Journalist, The Guardian
  88. Diana Evans, Writer, freelance
  89. Randeep Ramesh, Journalist, The Guardian
  90. Oliver Laughland, Journalist, The Guardian
  91. Malik Meer, Editor, Guardian US
  92. Devika Bhat, Journalist, The Guardian
  93. Nesrine Malik, Columnist
  94. Josh Lee Commissioning, Editor and writer, The Guardian + various
  95. Aisha Riaz, Production editor, GNM
  96. Nimra Shahid, Journalist, Freelance
  97. Lanre Bakare, Arts and culture correspondent, The Guardian
  98. Courtney Yusuf, Audio Producer, The Guardian
  99. Madeleine Coffey, Coordinator, Netflix
  100. Tumaini Carayol, Journalist, The Guardian
  101. Mona Chalabi, Editor, The Guardian
  102. Dr Omega Douglas, Academic, journalist, writer, Goldsmiths College, University of London
  103. Christine Ochefu, Journalist and editor, Freelance
  104. Elizabeth Pears, News editor, FT
  105. Haroon Siddique, Journalist, The Guardian
  106. Hajra Rahim, Journalist
  107. Victoria Ibitoye, Senior Correspondent, MLex
  108. Enjoli Liston, news editor, The Guardian, US
  109. Merve Logman, Writer
  110. Raffy Rauter Production Coordinator Netflix
  111. Nadia Khomami, Journalist, The Guardian
  112. Mirza Waheed, Writer
  113. Saba Salman, Journalist, Freelance/The Guardian
  114. Rasheda Malcolm ,Author, Journalist, The WILDE Foundation
  115. Amerley Ollennu, Journalist, Freelance
  116. Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, Journalist Shine A Light (co-editor) and Freelance
  117. Emmanuel Akinwotu, Journalist, The Guardian
  118. Sudip Roy, Journalist, Refinitiv
  119. Samira Shackle Journalist, Freelance
  120. Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Editor
  121. Desree Gumbs-Carty Writer, Freelance
  122. Farah Jassat, Journalist & Head of Podcasts, Intelligence Squared
  123. Nina Robinson, CEO, Soundtruism Productions