Ahead of WAN-Ifra’s diversity, equality and inclusion update, the group has announced changes bringing 11 new members to its board.
Among them are Mohit Jain, executive director of Times of India publisher Bennett, Coleman & Co and SPH Media chief executive Lay Lim Teo (pictured) from Singapore.
The new members were elected at WAN-Ifra’s annual meeting last Friday (June 17) and are part of its commitment to deliver on a 2017 strategy for diversity and inclusion, and to ensure it has additional skillsets and experience to support developments in different parts of the world. Included were measures to address gender imbalance within its governance, and WAN-Ifra chief executive Vincent Peyregne will update supervisory board members on the strategy in September.
New board members are: Lina Attalah (Mada Masr Media, Egypt); Marijana Bojanic (Vijesti, Montenegro); Juan Pablo Bojanini (El Heraldo de Barranquilla, Colombia); Alia Ibrahim (Daraj Media, Lebanon; Mohit Jain (Bennett, Coleman & Co, India); Barbara Kaija (New Vision, Uganda); Caroline Jerotich Kimutai (Standard Group, Kenya); Patty Michalski (Hearst, USA); Agnes Kalekye Nguna (Radio Africa Group, Kenya); Caroline Southey (The Conversation Africa, South Africa); and Lay Lim Teo (SPH Media Ltd, Singapore).
Peyregne said the announcement advanced ongoing efforts to expand the expertise and diversity of the board and confirms the growing number of women taking up senior positions in the media. “However, we are far from the parity we aspire to as an industry. I hope this and future elections will lead the way,” he said.
The new board members join 14 directors re-elected to a further term: Alexander Mitteräcker (Der Standard, Austria); Daniel Van Wylick (Lapresse.be, Belgium); Stoyana Georgieva (Mediapool, InfoSpace Foundation, Bulgaria); Juan Jaime Diaz (Asociación Nacional de la Prensa, Chile); Jean-Pierre de Kerraoul (ENPA, France); Thomas Lindner (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany; Paul Peckels (Mediahuis Luxembourg and ALMI);
Sinead Boucher (Stuff, New Zealand); Rolf Dyrnes (Global Alliance for Media Innovation, Norway); Pia Rehnquist (Bonnier News Local, Sweden); Guy Black (Telegraph Media Group, UK); Lisa MacLeod (FT Strategies, Financial Times, UK); Toyosi Ogunseye (BBC, UK); and Jennifer Bertetto (Trib Total Media, USA).
Retiring members thanked by the board and management team were Juan Amaya, Fatemah Farag, Shailesh Gupta, José Manuel Lozano, Donna Hall, Majella Gallagher and Petru Macovei.
More members, more aid
The annual meeting heard ‘a significant part’ of three-quarters of a million Euros’ raised for local media and those working in challenging markets had been channelled to Ukrainian publishers and media professionals.
Active in more than 25 countries, WAN-Ifra’s media freedom department promotes equality, safety and stability across a portfolio of work, with support in the past six months showing the unprecedented capacity of this industry to work together to sustain independent media.
Through its fundraising campaign, WAN-Ifra says its financial support reached more than 150 Ukrainian publications and news organisations, and has contributed to maintaining salaries, providing funds for essential services, and keeping the media running and operational throughout the country. Other vital direct financial support to media in fragile states included editorial grants for African media organisations and emergency aid to Afghan colleagues.
In its 2021 financial report, the group reported a growing membership and positive financial results for the fifth year in a row, “thanks to an increased portfolio of externally funded projects, a high volume of consulting projects, the sustained participation in its programme professional conferences with more than 6000 registered participants over the first six months of 2022, and a growing membership base from both corporate and individual members”.