Thursday, 29 October 2020

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XCity Award shortlist: Ben Hunte

Photograph of LGBT correspondent Ben Hunte in white t-shirt, smiling

Photo: Ben Hunte

The BBC’s first LGBT correspondent is nominated for his reporting on gender, race, and sexuality

Becoming the BBC’s first LGBT correspondent has seen City alumnus Ben Hunte (MA Broadcast Journalism, 2017) shortlisted for this year’s XCity Award.

The award, alongside the £500 prize, honours an ex-City student for their achievements in journalism.

Hunte started his career as Google’s youngest strategy manager, before working with the BBC after completing the Broadcast Journalism MA at City University. Hunte said he felt “shocked, surprised and #blessed” at bagging the role of BBC’s first LGBT correspondent.

Hunte’s ground-breaking reporting on LGBT affairs led to a series of interviews named “The Ben Hunte Interviews” on BBC Radio 4 Extra, while also uncovering racism and reporting on issues that made a huge impact on the gay community in the UK.

“If you even look at when I was younger – I thought I was the only gay black young man in the world because I didn’t see or hear of anyone else like me and if I did it was really tragic circumstances,” he said.

Hunte’s BBC News story ‘Too ugly to be gay’ has resonated with millions of people all over the world. Although the piece took months to get published as it “specifically targeted the gay males in our society and that’s quite a minority within a minority”, his dedication and hard work resulted in a piece that went viral and was translated into numerous different languages. “In the end, we basically made the content and pushed it out ourselves as opposed to having a specific commission from outlets, so I’m really proud of that piece,” said Hunte.

The BBC correspondent said he feels “so grateful to be recognised among previous XCity alumni who have done incredible things” and appreciates being shortlisted for the XCity Award, as “City University helped me to get where I am today”.

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