Happy Birthday to PinkNews.co.uk
Today is a day of anniversaries. PinkNews.co.uk is two years old. In that short time the site has had a major impact on the reporting of news about, and for, the gay community in the UK.
We celebrate the fact that we were the first news outlet to get Prime Minister Gordon Brown to talk about gay issues.
We got right to the heart of the debate about the future of Labour by interviewing all six candidates for Deputy Leader.
Tory Shadow Cabinet member Francis Maude turned to PinkNews.co.uk to talk about his brother’s death from AIDS and the mistakes made by the Thatcher government in relation to the LGBT community.
We brought you Simon Hughes, respected President of the Liberal Democrats, talking openly about his bisexuality.
We even tackled ‘gorgeous’ George Galloway about his support for gay-hating Islamic extremists.
Some of the stories have been heartbreaking: the plight of Palestinian refugees forced into male prostitution, the trials of the homophobic murderers of Jodi Dubrowski and David Morley, the attacks on gay rights across the world.
In the past two years we have brought our readers many interesting interviews with prominent people in a range of fields: David Starkey, Sarah Waters, Matthew Bourne and the lovely Su Pollard, to name a few.
Celebrations at PinkNews.co.uk’s London office are somewhat muted, however, as the company’s founder and Channel 4 News correspondent Benjamin Cohen has been in hospital for the last nine days.
Ben has been experiencing loss of function in his arms, hands and legs, and doctors found a severe lesion on his spinal cord caused by Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
MS has affected his ability to walk and he has lost sensation from the elbows down to his fingertips.
Only 24, Ben is due to be released from hospital today.
His colleague, Channel 4 News anchorman Jon Snow, sent him this message of support:
“I send my warmest good wishes to Ben – he is a star in the ascendant, as is PinkNews.co.uk. Your second birthday is another milestone.”
The chief executive of Stonewall, Ben Summerskill, said:
“All of Stonewall’s supporters send Ben every best wish. Happy Birthday – PinkNews.co.uk has made a significant contribution to the profile of the pink media throughout Britain.
“That’s why the judges of last year’s Stonewall awards voted it Publication of the Year, in spite of the fact that the shortlist included national mainstream titles.”
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Ben’s friends and family also celebrated the PinkNews.co.uk’s birthday and expressed hope that Ben will make a speedy recovery.
Rochelle Cohen, Ben’s mum, told us:
“I am so proud of Ben and all his achievements. Although being in hospital is never pleasant, he is still focused on his work and looking forward to returning to Channel 4 News as soon as he can.”
Ben’s partner, Adam Smith, said:
“It has been worrying and he is desperate to get back to work.
“Hopefully he will be OK in the next couple of weeks. He is very proud of having created PinkNews.co.uk and he thinks the quality of journalism is unrivalled in the gay press.”