The Voice newspaper was founded in 1982 by Val McCalla who, while working on a London
local paper called the East End News in 1981, led a group of businessmen and journalists in a
new and uncertain endeavour – the creation of a weekly newspaper to cater for the
interests of British-born African-Caribbean people.
Until then the black press in Britain had always addressed a generation of immigrants,
relaying news from their countries of origin in the Caribbean and Africa. Publications were
named accordingly, with titles such as the West Indian Gazette, West Indian World, The
Caribbean Times and West Africa.
According to Beulah Ainley, who worked with McCalla on the East End News, "nobody
thought the Voice would work”, however, as The Independent has noted: "The previous
summer, Brixton had rioted, and Afro-Caribbean enterprises of all kinds were now being
encouraged in the hope of preventing a repetition.
London's councils, in particular, were keen to advertise for black staff, and even keener to
do so in an Afro-Caribbean newspaper.
The Voice got off the ground with a £62,000 loan from Barclays Bank and the first issue
of The Voice was printed to coincide with the Notting Hill Carnival in August 1982. Its cover
price was 54 pence, and was only sold in London.
The Voice′s first office was in Mare Street, Hackney, East London. The first editor, Flip Fraser,
led a team of young journalists who set about addressing the issues that mattered to
Britain's Afro-Caribbean community. They laid the foundation for the future success of the
paper, combining human-interest stories and coverage of sports, fashion and entertainment
with hard news and investigative reporting.
Within two decades it had become "Britain's most successful Afro-Caribbean newspaper"
and had fought off a challenge from other similar newspapers during that period.
Two years after the death of McCalla in 2002, ownership of the newspaper changed and the
new Company was formed under the title GV Media Group Limited.
The Voice is produced in tabloid format and is a weekly newspaper, published on a
Thursday, priced at £1. The paper caters to the interests of the African & Caribbean diaspora
in the UK. There is also the website, The Voice Online, which regularly attracts a high
number of weekly unique visits. The Voice newspaper is available nationwide, and has a
wide reach online including UK, US and Africa.
The newspaper has different sections: News – includes: National, World, Business,
Technology, Science, Health, Education matters.
Life & Style – includes: Entertainment features; People and Place; Arts, Books, Music and
Theatre Reviews; What’s On and Competitions.
Soul Stirrings - All topics that fall under faith are discussed in a frank and open manner each
week in this section. It also attracts regular contributions.
Sports - Another award-winning section of the newspaper, focusing on all sports matters.
Opinion - Includes a popular weekly opinion piece from popular BBC broadcaster Dotun
Family Matters. Each month The Voice looks at an issue surrounding family, parenting, care,
fostering and adoption, healthy lifestyle and fitness, in a pull-out guide containing expert
advice, information and contact points.
Health Matters. Each month The Voice considers an issue surrounding mental and physical
well-being. It is another pull-out guide that is filled with expert advice, useful information
and contact points.
Apprenticeships - Each year, a supplement highlighting apprenticeships across the UK is
published alongside the newspaper. The supplement includes features from key figures in
business and apprenticeships, alongside tricks on how
Carnival - Every August, The Voice publishes a Carnival supplement to coincide with The
Notting Hill Carnival.
In addition to the newspaper, the Voice also produces special stand-alone publications
including: The African & Caribbean Food and Restaurant Guide - A annual publication listing
the best African & Caribbean restaurants across the UK and including regular features on up
and coming restaurants and key figures to watch. The Black Business Guide magazine which
highlights and supports the many small and medium size black-owned businesses
throughout the UK.
The Voice has been a key player in Africa on the Square - a yearly event that takes place
every October in Trafalgar Square, celebrating Africa's culture, cuisine, music and more.