About Me

Award-winning multimedia journalist and audio producer based in London.

I produce The Guardian's daily news and current affairs podcast Today In Focusas well as the Cotton Capital series - an investigation into The Guardian's foundational links to the enslavement of African people and the contemporary legacies of Transatlantic slavery.

Today In Focus won best News and Current Affairs podcast at the British Podcast Awards 2023. The Cotton Capital project won the 'Excellence in Diversity' award at the 2024 Press Awards and was highly commended at the British Journalism Awards 2023. I was nominated for Best News Producer at the 2021 Audio Production Awards and Best New Producer in 2020.

For a sonic cruise around the Med, re-visit my show The Wine-Dark Sea on Noods Radio.

I have written for The Guardian, The Wire, Novara Media, Skin Deep, and others about culture, race, and urban space. 

I am particularly interested in the dynamics and legacies of the British Empire so if you are too, get in touch!

Episode 1: The bee and the ship

The first episode of the new Guardian podcast series Cotton Capital explores the revelations that the Guardian’s founding editor, John Edward Taylor, and at least nine of his 11 backers, had links to slavery, principally through the textile industry.
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The volunteer fighter: ‘Life will never be the same’

Volodymyr Ksienich, 22, has returned to Ukraine to join the defence of Kyiv. He tells Michael Safi how his life changed forever after last week’s Russian invasion
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The Return of Babymother: A Celebration of Harlesden’s Reggae Roots

Widely considered to be the first Black British musical, Babymother follows Anita (Anjela Lauren Smith), who has an ambition to become a local Dancehall star. Courtney Yusuf meets Julian Henriques and Parminder Vir, director and producer, to retrace the film’s steps, over 20 years after its release.
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Today In Focus: One hour to escape: the race to get out of a Gaza tower before an Israeli airstrike

A warning call told residents of al-Jalaa apartment block that their homes were about to be destroyed. This is the story of the frantic evacuation that followed – told through recordings made by the people who lived there
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Today In Focus: Britain’s rich history of black literature

For Black History Month we’ve brought together star authors Ben Okri, Candice Carty-Williams and Caleb Azumah Nelson to discuss the past, present and future of black writing
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#10 Courtney Yusuf by Telling Stories

Courtney is part of the team that bring you Today In Focus at The Guardian. He also produces The Wine-Dark Sea for Noods Radio, a sonic cruise around the Mediterranean where each episode explores a different musical genre and the world from which it came. Courtney is someone who thinks deeply about place - and what it means to really take a listener somewhere. We wanted to get to the bottom of how you can help the listener arrive at the authentic truth of a place. While, Courtney says, there is no real authentic truth, we can work to understand a story (and a place) by speaking to different people who share an authentic investment in it and by listening closely to the details they pick-up on. Content Warning: This episode contains reference to torture and violence against women.
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Today In Focus - Guantánamo’s highest-value detainee and the guard who befriended him

Mohamedou Ould Salahi was once Guantánamo’s highest-value detainee, but during the 14 years he spent behind bars he was never charged with a crime. Salahi and his former guard Steve Wood reflect on their time at the prison
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Surviving Britain’s homelessness crisis

Journalist Daniel Lavelle on his experience of homelessness and what it taught him about the impact of government cuts “It’s almost like I’d been prepared for it my entire life. I mean, it’d be more of a surprise if I hadn’t ended up homeless.”
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Today In Focus: In conversation with Benjamin Zephaniah and George the Poet

Benjamin Zephaniah and George the Poet are two of Britain’s most successful contemporary poets. They discuss why, despite being born a generation apart, their work is still exposing racial injustice.
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Today In Focus: The Indigenous children who died at Canada’s residential schools

Half a century ago, Barry Kennedy was taken from his family and forced into an abusive system that sought to obliterate his Indigenous heritage. Now, after the discovery of more than 1,000 bodies in unmarked graves at schools including his own, he reflects on the traditions that were erased, the friends he lost – and Canada’s new reckoning with that history. Listeners may find parts of this episode, which deals with physical and sexual abuse, distressing
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Today In Focus: The children of 9/11

There were 3,051 children who lost a parent on September 11 2001. In the first of three episodes examining the reverberations of the attacks 20 years on, three of that group reflect on the weight of that private grief – and what it meant to grow up with it in the media spotlight
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Today In Focus: Otters, badgers and orcas: can the pandemic help rewild Britain?

Sound recordist Chris Watson shares the birdsong from his English garden, while environmentalist George Monbiot looks at how the pandemic might be an opportunity for rewilding.
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Today In Focus: How Jewish parents used Guardian ads to save their children’s lives

This month is 200 years since the Guardian was first established in Manchester. For the Guardian’s world affairs editor, Julian Borger, a part of that history is deeply personal. In 1938, there was a surge of classified ads in the Guardian as parents – including his grandparents – scrambled to get their children out of the Reich. What became of the families? On Wednesday 3 August 1938, a short advertisement appeared on the second page of the Manchester Guardian, under the title “Tuition”. “I s
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Today In Focus: Men! What can you do to help fight misogyny?

Educator and author Dr Jackson Katz discusses why all men need to be part of ending violence against women, and what they can do to help
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Today In Focus: Inside Lebanon's economic crisis

Scenes of economic despair are visible across Lebanon – from shops to homes, businesses to hospitals. Guardian journalist Martin Chulov discusses why the country is verging on financial collapse.
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Today In Focus: The life and death of Belly Mujinga

Guardian writer Sirin Kale spoke to friends and family of Belly Mujinga about her life and death. Belly, a transport worker and mother to an 11-year-old girl, developed Covid-19 after being allegedly spat on during her shift at London’s Victoria station. Her death made headlines and raised pressing questions about racial injustice.
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'Here, you fight for your life': how reggae brought hope to Naples

In the shadow of Vesuvius and under the blazing Mediterranean sun sits a labyrinth of cobbles, zipping scooters, shouting neighbours and stone buildings plastered with posters. Amid the streets of one of Europe’s most densely populated cities is one of its most vibrant reggae scenes, with 10 sound systems throwing bass-filled parties each week. “There is no hostility in the scene,” explains Brian D’Aquino of Bababoom Hi Fi Sound System. “We have all known each other for years, live with each other, let each other borrow amplifiers or whatever. Plus there’s no money, which probably helps.”
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Speaking at the 2023 Freedom Festival, Hull, with Dr Cassandra Gooptar and Ebony Riddell Bamber
Speaking at the 2023 Newsrewired journalism conference on 'What gives news podcasts an edge?'
Speaking as part of the Frontline Club's 2021 screening of 'My Brother's Keeper' which follows the life of Mohamedou Ould Salahi, a former Guantanamo detainee

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