Next year I will begin my fifth decade as a working journalist. As a writer, as an executive — and now as the chair of Index on Censorship — I have always tried to encourage honest, thorough and professional reporting and analysis of the UK’s ethnic and religious minority communities. Unless all our citizens share in a common understanding of our nation, the prospect of an integrated society will remain a distant dream.
The key words here are ‘honest’ and ‘thorough’. The tradition of British journalism eschews propaganda and partisanship. In my early days reporting on minority communities in London, many urged our teams to avoid topics that might lead others to stigmatise those communities; but had we done so, the principal losers would have been those very minorities.