Mon . 19 May 2019

Lionel Morrison

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Lionel Morrison OBE 13 October 1935 – 31 October 2016 was a South African-born British journalist, and a former president of the National Union of Journalists NUJ He was the first black journalist to hold that office


Morrison, whose grandfather came from Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, was born and spent his early life in South Africa, where he set up a multiracial journalists' union in the 1950s in opposition to the apartheid regime He was arrested for treason in 1956

Having moved to the UK in 1960, Morrison became a member of the NUJ's National Executive Council in 1971, and its president in 1973 Much of his life's work focused on increasing black participation in unionism and journalism, and countering racial discrimination In the 1970s, finding it difficult to find employment in Britain as a black journalist, Morrison was involved in setting up some of the country's first black newspapers such as The Voice and The West Indian World Along with fellow journalist Syd Burke, he also helped to establish journalism courses and further education colleges across London Morrison was the Principal Information Officer of the Commission for Racial Equality in the 1970s and 1980s He later became Vice-President and Chair of Notting Hill Housing Trust An honorary member and life member of the NUJ, he was awarded an OBE in 2000

He died on 31 October 2016 and is survived by his wife, two sons, grandson and granddaughter


  • As They See it: A Race Relations Study of Three Areas from a Black Viewpoint, Community Relations Commission, 1976
  • Arts Education in a Multicultural Society, Commission for Racial Equality, 1981 with Irene Staunton and Tania Rose
  • A Century of Black Journalism in Britain: A Kaleidoscopic View of Race and the Media 1893–2003, Truebay Limited, 2007, ISBN 978-0-9555540-0-1


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Webb, Oscar 2 April 2011 "Lionel Morrison OBE speaks about racial discrimination within journalism" Archived 30 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, NUJ
  2. ^ a b c Staff 20 April 2007 "My NUJ: Lionel Morrison" Archived 2 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Press Gazette
  3. ^ National Union of Journalists, The Journalist
  4. ^ a b Barker, Geoffrey "The Tragedy of Britain's Blacks", The Age, 29 March 1978
  5. ^ a b Benjamin, Ionie, The Black Press in Britain, Trentham Books, 1995, ISBN 978-1-85856-028-1, pp 47–50, 58–59
  6. ^ Dod, Charles Roger; Dod, Robert Phipps, Dod's Parliamentary Companion, 1990, ISBN 978-0-905702-16-2
  7. ^ "NUJ pays tribute to Lionel Morrison", National Union of Journalists, 1 November 2016

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