Qaanitah Hunter

As one of the youngest editors in the country, Qaanitah Hunter Assistant Editor: Politics and Opinion at News24, always knew she was destined to be a political journalist and has made a career off speaking truth to power and taking on some of the biggest names in the arena.

Young Qaanitah Hunter could be found with a hairbrush in hand, reporting live from "warzones" in her mother's bedroom. Almost two decades later, Hunter is living the dream her six-year-old-self envisioned as one of the youngest political editors in the country.

"I was obsessed with politics from a very young age, and it's all I wanted to be," she said.

Before she turned 18, Hunter was in the trenches working as a journalist while studying.

Although she says she might not necessarily be the loudest voice in the room, the power of her pen does the talking. She’s gone face-to-face with some of the biggest names in politics in her quest to hold power to account.

In 2019 her fierce political reporting earned her the Nat Nakasa Award for brave and courageous journalism making her the award’s youngest recipient. In 2020, at the age of 26, she was appointed News24's Politics Editor.

Despite the accolades, Hunter says she’s had to work twice as hard to prove herself.

"As women in journalism, we should not be defined by barriers that people put up for us. We should not be defined by what others think," she said.

Hunter was recently promoted to the Assistant Editor: Politics and Opinion at News24, all while completing her Masters in Journalism at Wits University. To balance this, Hunter tries to prioritise rest, taking time off and balancing work and rejuvenation. 

As a mental health champion in the industry Hunter says she wants to be remembered for her empathy, more than anything.

"If you have empathy not only for colleagues but also for sources and newsmakers, it goes such a long way. For me, it is not about being the loudest or the most assertive. I think my superpower is understanding humans and realising why people do what they do and getting to the humanness of sources and the people we profile," she said.

Watch the full interview:

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