VICE World News expands EMEA newsroom with new journalist hires
VICE World News has announced the appointments of Ben Hunte and Sophia Smith Galer who will join VICE World News as Senior Reporters.
The new hires come as VICE looks to bolster VICE World News’ reporting bench of journalists across EMEA, under the leadership of Matthew Champion the Executive Editor for EMEA.
Building off the meteoric success of VICE News in the U.S, the VICE World News brand aims to create hundreds of hours of international digital, television and audio news programming for audiences worldwide, produced by teams in London, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Nairobi, Mumbai, Singapore and Australia.
VICE World News’ operation in EMEA was launched last year and sees the digital news team covering global news stories across the core beats of the organisation, including: extremism, justice, equality, trafficking, and global conflict.
Ben Hunte has been appointed as Senior Reporter, working across VICE World News platforms with a focus on global LGBTQ experiences and issues, race, human rights and the African continent. Ben will be based in London and will begin his role in mid-September.
Ben Hunte brings with him a wealth of experience, after finishing a secondment as the BBC’s West Africa Correspondent, he most recently returned to his role as the BBC’s first LGBT Correspondent, reporting on stories surrounding sexuality and gender.
During his tenure at the BBC, he uncovered how UK universities played a historic role in attempting to ‘convert’ gay men; exposed how the government quietly axed LGBT anti-bullying projects in schools and fronted a season of coverage celebrating 50 years since the Stonewall Riots. Prior to his career in journalism, Ben studied neuroscience on a full scholarship in Malaysia and worked for Google as a Strategy Manager while juggling work as a YouTuber and filmmaker.
In July 2020, Ben took the top spot of The Guardian and DIVA Magazine’s Pride Power List and was awarded Journalist of the Year in 2020 by One Young World.
Sophia Smith Galer has been appointed as Senior Reporter working across VICE World News with a focus on the global creator economy, the Middle East, health, and misinformation. Sophia will start her role immediately and will be based in London. Sophia Smith Galer is a Webby-winning journalist who has reported around the world for the BBC across television, radio and online on faith and digital culture. She uncovered the Trump campaign’s activity on TikTok during the 2020 election despite the fact he was trying to ban the app at the same time, as well as the misuse of political ads on the platform.
In 2020 she was named a Voice of Change by TikTok, who selected her as one of the UK’s top 100 creators, as well as a One to Watch by the Edinburgh TV Festival and was praised as a journalism innovator in the UK's House of Lords. She is a Spanish and Arabic speaker, and is writing her first book for Harper Collins on debunking the cultural myths we inherit around sex.
Ben and Sophia will report into Matthew Champion, who joined VICE World News in 2020 having previously been the Deputy World News Editor at BuzzFeed News. Since its launch in 2020, VICE World News has seen healthy growth: its video content now drives 50 million views per month across digital platforms, the brand has 1.2 million subscribers across its Instagram and Snapchat channels and 45% of its audience is Gen Z.
Matthew Champion, Executive Editor, VICE World News, EMEA: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Ben and Sophia are joining the VICE World News team. They’re both phenomenal journalists who will give VICE World News a huge edge in telling stories that matter, and telling them in the right way, as we grow our audience in EMEA and worldwide.”