BirminghamLive/Birmingham Mail

Brummie Muslims

Brummie Muslims is a newsletter launched by BirminghamLive in April 2022 at the beginning of Ramadan, as part of a renewed focus on engaging with Birmingham's Muslim communities on a deeper and more consistent level. Led by trainee reporter Anisah Vasta and people and politics editor Jane Haynes, it is a product we're really proud of and we hope substantiates our commitment to representing and writing for the diverse Muslim community in our region. The newsletter was created to offer a mix of content from lifestyle from street food must haves and the best clothes shops to get Eid outfits to flytipping being a blight on communities and the Trojan Horse affair which ‘left a scar’ on Muslim communities. Since the launch, hundreds of people have signed up and the newsletter has been the fastest growing newsletter across Birmingham’s huge mix of newsletters. To date, Brummie Muslims has 4,864 subscribers, with an average open rate of 37%, it is the feedback from members of the community that has galvanised the team to continue the great work and seek more collaboration. We always encourage readers to get in touch with our writers directly. Rather than a one way newsletter, it offers a communication channel for Muslims across the West Midlands to get in touch and tell us about the incredible things they are doing in their communities. We regularly receive very positive feedback with regards to how the newsletter is helping to tackle inequality. Councillor Waseem Zaffar said: “I think it was one of the best media projects I’ve come across. The Muslim community is under attack and through this initiative, the wider community has been able to get a better understanding of Muslims and their practices through excellent journalism.” He added: “In the face of massive inequality and Islamophobia, we’ve been able to tackle some of this by portraying the real life stories of Brummie Muslims” Our aim is to continue to grow Brummie Muslims, seek more collaborations and invite members of the community to contribute. The project has inspired young journalists in the newsroom to bring forward other ideas for newsletters including a Sikh newsletter. It would be great if we could create newsletters for different communities and create an event where people are brought together to celebrate different food and cultures. It also contributed towards a podcast project - Commonwealth Stories - where the Brummie Muslims team spoke to contacts from Muslim communities about their impressions about the Commonwealth, and its roots in empire, as the Games head to our city. It also contributed to Migrant Voice holding a special event this year highlighting BirminghamLive’s reporting of marginalised communities as the exemplar.