IPI welcomes new Executive Board members

Leading editors from the Philippines, Kenya and Nigeria have joined the Executive Board of the International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists for press freedom.

At last week’s IPI World Congress in Geneva, Switzerland, the IPI General Assembly elected to the Executive Board Maria Ressa, CEO and executive editor of the Philippine news website Rappler and a leading voice in the defence of press freedom globally; Stephen Gitagama, CEO of the Nation Media Group, a top publisher of independent media in East Africa; and Wada Maida, chairman of the Nigerian publisher People’s Media Limited and a long-time member of IPI’s Nigeria National Committee.

“We are delighted to welcome Maria Ressa, Stephen Gitagama and Wada Maida as members of the IPI Executive Board”, IPI Executive Board Chair Markus Spillmann said. “As press freedom comes increasingly under pressure around the globe, their voice will further strengthen IPI’s mission to defend independent journalism and protect the press’s right to disseminate information in the public interest.”

The General Assembly also re-elected the following Executive Board members to new three-year terms: Beata Balogová, editor-in-chief, SME (Slovakia); Ole Kristian Bjelaanes, managing editor, Norwegian News Agency (Norway); Woosuk “Kenneth” Choi, editor, Chosun Ilbo (South Korea); Kim Fletcher, editor, the British Journalism Review (UK); Kadri Gürsel, columnist, Al Monitor (Turkey); Johannes Hano, New York and Canada bureau chief, ZDF German television (Germany); Hiroshi Komatsu, editor-in-chief, The Mainichi Shimbun (Japan); Virginia Pérez Alonso, deputy editor, Público.es (Spain); Markus Spillmann, founder and CEO, SPILLMANN Media Management GmbH (Switzerland).

Philippine editor Maria Ressa and Kenyan publisher Stephen Gitagama among names elected to global Board

Maria Ressa speaks at the Town Hall debate at the IPI World Congress in Geneva, Switzerland, June 5, 2019. (IPI/KEYSTONE/Salvatore di Nolfi)

Daoud Kuttab, director general and founder of Community Media Network in Jordan, was elected by the Executive Board as one of its four vice chairs, joining Balogová, Choi and Khadija Patel, editor-in-chief of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper. Kuttab assumes the seat of Dawn Thomas, CEO of One Caribbean Media Ltd., who stepped down from the Executive Board due to term limits.

In addition to Thomas, Kabiru Yusuf, chairman of Nigeria’s Media Trust, and Daniel Hadad, CEO of Argentina’s Grupo Infobae, also stepped down after serving two full terms on the Executive Board.

“We are so grateful to the dedication that Dawn Thomas, Kabiru Yusuf and Daniel Hadad have shown to IPI and the cause of press freedom over the course of their time on IPI’s Executive Board”, IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi said. “And we warmly welcome as an IPI vice chair Daoud Kuttab, who has spent his respected career fighting for free and independent media especially in Palestine, Jordan and the rest of the Middle East region.”

The IPI Executive Board is elected by the General Assembly with regard to geographic, gender and media diversity. The Board oversees IPI’s finances and guides the Secretariat in implementing IPI’s strategy in defence of media freedom. Members serve three-year terms, extendable for a second term. Composed of all IPI members, the General Assembly meets annually during IPI’s World Congress to set the organization’s overall programme and policy and to elect members of the Executive Board.

Founded in 1950, IPI is a global network of editors, journalists and media executives dedicated to furthering and safeguarding press freedom, promoting the free flow of news and information, and improving the practices of journalism. Today, IPI has members in nearly 100 countries.

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