Journalist Tasnim Nazeer has become the first hijabi to anchor a report on Scottish TV news.
The 34 year old mum-of-five from Glasgow appeared on STV news on Thursday reporting on the lack of support for bereaved families in Scotland.
She said on Twitter: “Really pleased to have done my first TV report as a freelance journo for @STVNews at Six highlighting the need for more bereavement support in Scotland. I don’t think a woman in hijab has ever anchored a news report in Scotland before.
“Thanks STV for enabling me to break through the glass ceiling I felt I was under for so long. Representation is so important and glad to have been taken on based on skills and ability to do the job.
“It’s important that media outlets in Scotland have representation on screen that reflects the national portrait of the society we live in & bring in different stories & perspectives.”
Tasnim told the Daily Record that she had previously been told she did not have the TV “look.”
“I’ve been told that I just don’t have the proper look to appear on camera for certain stories, she said. “There have been occasions when it was suggested to me that someone else should appear on camera to do the report which is really confidence-sapping. Sometimes I’ve felt like giving up, and then I’m more determined to succeed…
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“I’ve even been told I look ‘really glamorous’ without the hijab and would I consider taking it off. I’m really pleased that STV never even mentioned it, and allowed me to get on with the job.”
Originally from London and of Sri Lankan heritage, Tasnim has written for a variety of print and online publications including The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera English, The Guardian, TRT World, BBC Radio 2 and many more.
She was awarded the Rising Stars in Media Awards 2018 by FIPP the global network of media. And she was the winner of the Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2013 Ibn Battuta Award for Excellence in Media for her human rights and interfaith journalism.
She is also the author of the books “Allah’s Gifts,” “Aleena Celebrates Eid,” “Its Ramadan,” and “Muslimah’s Key to Jannah.” And she has an upcoming academic book “Islamic Finance: A Practical Introduction” due be published with Kube Publishing.
On the challenge of being a working mum she has previously written: “I have 5 children aged between 9 years old and 5 months old and have been a freelance journalist for 10 years! If you are passionate about your career you will somehow find a way to incorporate it into your life. There are unprecedented opportunities for progression through training, education and flexible learning.
“First and foremost my husband and children mean the world to me but that doesn’t mean that just because you are a stay at home parent you need to stop working on a professional level, or on a career that you think may be impossible to balance. I think it is even more beneficial for children to see their parents excelling in life as parents are the role models to their children.”