From working in her local newspaper in Rochdale to an award winning ITV reporter - we speak to Amani Khan.

A journalist says she owes her success to her upbringing which gave her a unique advantage when pursuing her dream career.

Amani Khan, 23, began her career when she was only sixteen-years-old by writing for her local paper newspaper in Rochdale. Two years later Amani worked at her local radio station, Crescent Community Radio where she was a producer and presenter for a youth show, talking about issues across Rochdale that teens faced.

Amani said, “I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a journalist, probably from the age of 13 when I was choosing my subjects for GCSE's. I was always a bookworm and knew I loved telling stories. I always took a deeper interest in the English subjects throughout education.”

Amani, who was named University of Salford Outstanding Young Journalist at the 2018 Asian Media Award, said her family supported her unequivocally when she expressed an interest in journalism.

“The news would always be on the TV at our house and the thought of me contributing to that made my parents extremely happy. 

“My father always said, ‘Please go on to do what you love because you'll never feel like you're working,’ and he couldn't have been more right. I never wake up thinking 'I have to go to work.' Instead I am always excited to see what the day holds.”

Having gained a degree in journalism from the University of Central Lancashire, Amani said ample work experience was pivotal in her trajectory.

“I put myself forward for a ton of work experience. I also gained work experience at ITV Granada and BBC North West Tonight. I then got a job at The Leader in Flintshire as a reporter for the paper and from then I decided that broadcast journalism is what I wanted to focus on mainly, so I moved onto ITV News and I've been here ever since.”

Amani has covered hard hitting stories since working with ITV News, including interviewing a 16-year-old girl who was a victim of forced marriage and more recently, a modern slavery case.

“The most challenging story for me has definitely been the 'Forced Marriage’ series I did. I struggled with handling my emotions after hearing the young 16-year-old's traumatic story.”

Female role models played a key role in carving Amani’s journey. She said her mother’s hard-working ethic resonated with her own efforts.

“My mother showed me from a very young age that you have to work hard if you want to do well.

“Within journalism Anita Rani was and is my biggest role model.

"I would always listen to the BBC Asian Network and I think I was around 14 when she started working there. She is from Bradford, a city where the Asian community is often misrepresented, and she was a pioneer for the Asian community. She was the first Asian journalist who made me think, I can do this too.”

Asian Image:

Amani said her aim is to serve as the eyes and ears of her audience and her community in order to produce unbiased reports.

“As a female Asian journalist, I have the bonus of multiple languages and access into communities that others don't. 

“My advice to other young Asian girls who are considering a career in journalism is to believe in yourself first and foremost. Be yourself but be original. Bring to the table what others cannot.

“But, mainly gain work experience within the industry and within different fields, for example, producing, reporting, planning and find out which of those you're particularly interested in and work towards it.

“I stepped into journalism to impact people from the Asian background and share stories that are often pushed under the carpet.”