In the latest episode of Media Unscripted Charlotte Ricca talks to Benjamin Cohen, founder and CEO of PinkNews, and so much more. Benjamin is a campaigner, and in 2012 he co-founded and chaired the Out4Marriage, the successful campaign to introduce same-sex marriage in England and Wales. He is also a trustee and non-executive director of Humanity and Inclusion, and a trustee of Wise Thoughts, a London-based LGBTQ+ arts charity.
Benjamin started his career in publishing at the tender age of 16, when he launched JewishNet/ soJewish, an early social networking product that predates Facebook. He went on to become the youngest correspondent for a UK network news programme, working as an on-screen correspondent for Channel 4 News.
For the first few years after leaving Channel 4 News, Benjamin split his time between PinkNews and a role as executive director of Clarity, a leading US/UK tech PR agency. During this time he was a regular columnist for the Evening Standard and presented programmes for BBC Radio 4.
In this interview, exclusive to FIPP members, Benjamin talks about why social justice has always been his driving force and how he has made this mission into a successful money-making publishing power house. And he still wants more.
More equality, more equity, more of the advertising spend.
Benjamin is fearless and full of drive and energy. He’s also incredibly savvy, having created the world’s most read and watched LGBTQ+ publisher, with a global audience of more than 100 million unique users every month. But as well as a business for brain, he has a good heart and stays true to PinkNews mission: to inform, inspire change and empower people to be themselves.
Benjamin is something of a philanthropist, which you don’t often get in publishing. He has shunned a subscription model to enable people from all socio-ecomonic backgrounds to access PinkNews content. And he truly believes it’s up to the advertisers to step up and spend more, rather than taking money from his follower’s pockets.
There is so much to be learned from PinkNews about putting your audience first, adapting your content strategy to suit their needs and being flexible and forward thinking.
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