MEDIA: PROFILE; Birth of a Nation: Richard Adeshiyan, editor, New Nation

When it comes to the Murdoch family and media, they’ve got their fingers in just about every pie going. Not content with running BSkyB in the UK, Rupert’s daughter Elisabeth Murdoch Pianim and her husband have invested in the UK’s latest black tabloid newspaper - New Nation. It’s aiming for a circulation of 30,000 and hopes to provide a quality alternative to the Voice where papers like the Weekly Journal have fallen by the wayside.

When it comes to the Murdoch family and media, they’ve got their fingers

in just about every pie going. Not content with running BSkyB in the UK,

Rupert’s daughter Elisabeth Murdoch Pianim and her husband have invested

in the UK’s latest black tabloid newspaper - New Nation. It’s aiming for

a circulation of 30,000 and hopes to provide a quality alternative to

the Voice where papers like the Weekly Journal have fallen by the

wayside.



Its editor is Richard Adeshiyan, who has worked for most of the UK’s

black press. He acknowledges that it’s going to be a struggle to take on

the Voice, which has built up a huge and loyal base of readers and

advertisers over the last 14 years. But Adeshiyan has always been one

for a bit of a struggle. All his heroes have pulled themselves up in

classic rags to riches style and, as a former triple jumper himself,

competition holds no terror.



‘I started triple jumping while I was at school and I found it really

easy until I started competing at higher levels,’ he explains. ‘That’s

when I found guys beating me really easily. I decided to join the

Haringey Club where some of the country’s international athletes train

and they taught me the basics of jumping properly. I learned a lot from

that and I think it’s true in journalism in the same way. You have to

learn all the basics before you can be any good.’



It was through his athletics background that Adeshiyan got into

journalism. He’d been training with the likes of Linford Christie, Daley

Thompson and Tessa Sanderson and freelancing the odd piece for the

athletics trade titles when he walked into the Voice’s offices and

basically offered to be a tea boy if they’d let him get started on a few

athletics features. The then editor, Sharon Ali, was so impressed by his

contacts that she made him sports reporter almost on the spot.



‘It was fantastic experience for a young black journalist because I was

travelling the world, going to all these after-meet parties, mixing with

the Fleet Street old hands and, through my contacts, raising the profile

of the Voice,’ he says. ‘I was able to ply my trade in the mainstream

media as well and learn all about journalism from writing to page layout

and design.’



He rose to deputy editor and entertainment editor of the Voice and

achieved one of his ambitions in interviewing Art Blakey backstage at

Ronnie Scott’s. He then moved to the new rival to the Voice, the Weekly

Journal, as managing editor, also working on the international section

so that he could keep writing.



It was there that he had his greatest professional experience - he was

one of the few black British journalists to cover the first all-race

South African elections. He spent election day in Soweto and came back a

changed man. ‘There were so many black journalists in the UK who wished

they had the chance to do that job,’ he says. ‘I’m so glad I don’t have

to go through life saying ‘I wish I was there’.’



HIGHLIGHTS



1989 Assistant editor, features, the Voice

1990 Deputy editor, the Voice

1992 Managing editor and head of international news, the Weekly Journal

1995 Editor, the Weekly Journal

1996 Researcher, Black Britain

1996 Editor, New Nation



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