A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
Hugh Hamilton is a professional journalist of wide-ranging experience spanning more than two-and-a-half decades in broadcast (radio) and print media. He is currently host and executive producer of “Talkback!”, an interactive news-talk-analysis program specializing in political discourse and public policy on WBAI, Pacifica Radio, in New York 99.5 FM (http://www.wbai.org). Since 1993, he has combined his extensive journalistic experience with a parallel interest in legislative analysis and advocacy, serving in related capacities for two members of the New York City Council.
Hamilton is a former news editor and newscaster with the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation. He is also a former interim Bureau Chief of the Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency in Georgetown, Guyana; International Editor of The City Sun, a weekly African American newspaper in New York, and has held correspondent positions with the Caribbean Broadcasting Union and Caribbean News Agency.
As a political reporter, Hamilton has covered summits of the Non-Aligned Movement and Commonwealth Heads of Government in New Delhi, India; Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government meetings in Jamaica, Antigua-Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago and Nassau, Bahamas. He was among the first reporters allowed into Grenada following the 1983 U.S.-led intervention, and accompanied official delegations of the Guyana government to trade and economic negotiations in Cuba, North Korea, Mexico, and Britain.
In 1985, Hamilton was awarded an international fellowship to cover the 40th special session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where he was assigned to the Caribbean Radio Unit of the Department of Public Information. That fellowship also included a working visit to the Tanjug News Agency in Belgrade.
Since immigrating to the United States in 1988, Hamilton has covered extensively the impact of public policy on the African American and other “minority” communities, in areas ranging from politics and voting rights to issues of economic parity, public funding of social infrastructure (health, education), and the environment. His 24-page special report documenting the complexities of the urban environmental movement has been widely acclaimed by social-justice advocates (Uptown Eco-Blues: Environmental Woes in Harlem, The City Sun, June 5-11, 1991). Other special reports included similarly expansive studies of New York’s diverse immigrant communities, desegregation efforts in Yonkers, N.Y., identity politics in the redistricting process and the African American experience in the social-service sector.
Following an eight-year hiatus from full-time journalism -- during which he served as director of communication and legislative affairs to New York City Council Members Una Clarke and Rev. Dr. Lloyd Henry – Hamilton returned to radio as host of WBAI’s afternoon public-affairs program “Talkback!” in January 2001. As executive producer and host of the program – heard Monday through Thursday, 3-5pm -- Hamilton has consolidated his reputation as an engaging yet incisive interviewer, challenging the ideological orthodoxies of both the right and left. Arbitron figures reflect substantial and consistent increases in listener numbers and loyalty throughout the tri-state signal area, and call-in segments reveal a dedicated and far-flung listenership via the internet.
In addition to his work as a journalist, radio host and policy analyst, Hamilton has also served in an advisory capacity to several community development organizations in the predominantly African American and immigrant working-class communities of New York City. His work as a journalist and public-interest advocate was honored with a proclamation from the New York City Council in 2001.
Hamilton is married, the father of two children, and a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).
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