Unapologetically ‘The Nubian Times’ 3 years old today

Let TNT be judged on the content of our character

All together now…Happy Birthday to TNT! Yes, today marks the day that The Nubian Times newspaper came into existence. I can still hear The Lion King’s ‘Circle of Life’ track echoing in my ears – played at the birth of Simba the cub – from the day we first went to print. Now as we role into our third year since birth – we take a look back at some of our landmark achievements; not in a self-congratulatory way, but in acknowledging paved paths and looking ahead at untrodden ones.

Modern media has shifted towards mass coverage of global events that yield that instant reactionary response from social media users. You could argue that is the primary focus for most publications nowadays – both online and in print. The aim: to draw readers in. Since conception, TNT has always been about good and inspiring news, but more crucially the newspaper’s focal point is the community.

From local community events such as the much-loved and frequent Easter Egg Hunt that normally falls in April, to the Pan African Congress conference coinciding with Black History Month, TNT has been hands-on with and for the community. Just recently, TNT supported the #PAC70 which saw some notable black figures and activists like Akala, Kadija George and Dr Umar Johnson attend, just to mention a few. The penetrating theme there included how “we shouldn’t romanticise Africa or the African struggle, lest we are blinded to the reality that Africa too has problems that go back years before white colonialism”, Akala summed up.

In the first year of print, TNT hosted the MBC Awards – The Hilton, Deansgate – where local contributors in media, business and community were rewarded for their services. The huge media event is due return in 2017, do watch this space. The MBC Awards 2013 are worth pondering on, if only for the resilient contributions the black community members showed during what was the peak of the economic recession. We still salute the winners and applaud the runner-ups.

Last year saw TNT take on Red Nose Day by its reins where community is concerned. What many take for granted in terms of basic vocational abilities, some members in our community hold in high regard. Working with the elderly in Moss Side and Hulme, TNT conducted literacy sessions of reading and writing for the elderly.

Since 2014, TNT has been on breakfast radio with All FM Radio – TNT Breakfast Club, Wednesday 7-9am. Here current affairs, forthcoming events, entertainment news, politics and traffic are discussed by the ever-zealous and unashamedly black trio that is Lilian Nevins, Nicole McLaren and Reaghelle Peltier. From celebrity guests to politicians, this show is an audible reflection of TNT’s blueprint ethos – diverse. This black history month saw the trio team up with Diamond Radio, for a sucession of TNT Breafast Club on Monday mornings 7-10am, delivering real talk on the economy and the brown pounds contribution to the UK.

For any publication to maintain authenticity in the stories it tells, it must have journalists from the community in which is serves. Thus TNT News has partnered with Manchester Metropolitan University in a scheme that will see the newspaper recruit both undergraduates and postgraduates of Journalism and Creative Writing. It’s a win win; there is experience and skills to be gained one way, there are real stories at the heartbeat of the city to be told.

Teaming up with Operation Black Vote’s tour prior to the General Election this year, TNT attempted to register as many students, the public and the black community onto the electoral roll as possible. It’s simple, in order to have a greater racial justice and equality throughout the UK, we need our black community and students (the least registered) voting.

Since the recession hit families, particularly the black community, financial worries have been bubbling threateningly beneath the surface. There can be no doubt that the Manchester and the black and minority community are amongst the worst-hit by David Cameron and George Osbourne’s austerity cuts. “We are all in this together”, Cameron said before; well we truly aren’t. TNT has since hosted speed networking events for businesses, in order to boost employability and facilitate opportunity-based platforms for the community and also paying specialist attention to the black community who seem to be hardest hit.

Partnerships are something to seek, as progressive revolutions need numbers behind ideas and philosophies. TNT has actively partnered with MMU, All FM Radio, Radio Diamond, Unity Radio, PAC45 Foundation, whilst keenly engaging with newly-formed One Manchester, South Manchester Enterprise Network and Manchester City Council.

TNT hopes to deliver a comprehensive list of events directly propping the community whilst bringing you topical and relevant news over the next 3 years. We would say cheers and clink our glasses to you all but we recognise the tons amount of work still needed to be done. What’s pressing is the need to edify our community and the general public to walk in the opposite direction of racial injustices, hate crimes and diversity intolerance.

TNT News Yasin Chinembiri

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