Tucked away behind the London Eye, speakers, partners and finalists gathered at the ITV Studios where the official shortlist announcement for the 2014 Asian Media Awards took place.

Hosted by the delightful Umbreen Ali, the evening was filled with inspirational talks by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown of the Independent and Asif Zubairy, ITV’s Commissioning Editor for Entertainment.

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Zubairy told those gathered, “It’s an achievement in itself to be nominated for an award tonight and I congratulate all nominees from online, print, internet bloggers, PR experts as well as old school media like radio and TV whether you win or not.

“Being successful in the media requires creativity, dedication and – in my experience – a lot of long hours.

“In focusing on doing the best job possible, it’s easy to get consumed by the ideas, the look and sound of what you’re working on and the effect it has on the public so I’d just ask everyone in this room to remind the next generation of media superstars of their roots: they’re not just media superstars, they’re Asian media superstars.”

Finalists were announced for categories that spanned the vast sphere of the media industry. The notable Journalist of the Year category featured some of the leading media professionals from across the UK with reporters from the likes of Sky News, BBC Asian Network, the Evening Standard and the Mail on Sunday included in the line up.

Young and emerging journalists were also acknowledged in the Outstanding Young Journalist category made up of broadcast journalist Anila Dhami, contributor to The Independent, Layla Haidrani, Radio presenter Harpreet Kaur and Rahil Sheikh, broadcast journalist, reporter and newsreader. The full shortlist for this year’s awards can be found here.

Along with the buzz and excitement at being announced as a finalist in their respective categories, guests were also treated to what can only be described as inspirational and witty talks.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown spoke passionately about her work giving valuable insight into what she has learned from her years in the industry. Foraying into journalism in her 30s, Alibhai-Brown spoke honestly about the trials and tribulations that has shaped her career, whilst encouraging those pursuing a media career to never give up.

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Keith Vaz, MP, meanwhile noted the Asian Media Awards as an “important set of awards” and rightly so. With a thriving Asian community and generation that are no longer expected to take typical career paths, the media landscape is changing with more Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals seeking to make their mark in an industry that Vaz describes as “a very powerful part of society.”

The Asian Media Awards will take place at the Hilton Deansgate, Manchester on 28 October 2014.