Asian Media Awards 2021 back in person and shining a spotlight on excellence in journalism and the media

  • First Asian Media Awards to take place live in two years marked by remembrance of Umbreen Ali
  • Jeevan Ravindran and Yasmin Bodalbhai were among noteworthy winners

The first in-person Asian Media Awards 2021 since lockdown came with high spirits and once again showcased Asian talent in media and journalism from across the UK.

Held at the Emirates Old Trafford and hosted by Bela Shah of Sky Sports, the evening was a celebratory event but one also touched by the loss of Umbreen Ali, the co-founder of the awards who passed away last year at the age of 45.

Presenters and winners paid their tributes throughout the night.

Two notable winners on the night were Regional Journalist of the Year and Outstanding Young Journalist, who were ITV Central’s Yasmin Bodalbhai and freelance journalist Jeevan Ravindran, respectively.

Both spoke to Northern Quota.

You did it as part of a team

Bodalbhai said: “It’s a hard one, isn’t it? The award is for the work that you’ve done in the year, but everything you’ve ever done contributes to get to that place.

“In terms of what I’ve done last year, the biggest thing is all about the lack of help for children who have bad mental health issues. There’s no funding for it.

“We did a big investigation that went on for a few months and as a part of that, we had to find lots of families that would open up their hearts to us.

“I think probably a lot of the award was for that investigation, because it was quite a difficult piece of journalism. You can’t really take it just for yourself because you didn’t do it all yourself. You did it as part of a team.”

She stressed that that award was very much the result of a team effort.


“There’s a lot of people. So, right down from the head of news, who is very much the person who will say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a story,” said Bodalbhai.

“A big story that’s difficult to pull off requires somebody who’s brave to take a risk and say ‘Do you know what? You’re going to need a bit of time for this and you may not get anything else at the end of it, but I’m going to let you have that time, and we’re going to try and make this happen.’

“Then there’ll be people all the way through the newsroom. Somebody in the edit suite who has a fresh eye on it and says ‘Oh! I think that clip was better and I think we should change the order of it.’

“So, there are different people who will have an input and they may not even realise how important they were.”

Speaking about how her work impacts the world, Bodalbhai stated: “Something big and hard-hitting like the mental health story, you want it to open people’s eyes. If you already know and live that story, then you see yourself represented. If you didn’t know anything about that story, your eyes are opened to it.

Ravindran also spoke to NQ about her plans for the future.