Nigeria Joins IPI Executive Board

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Esther Oluku

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, the CEO and Executive Editor of the Philippine news website, Rappler, Maria Ressa, who is also a leading voice in the defence of press freedom globally.

The CEO of the Nation Media Group, a top publisher of independent media in East Africa, Stephen Gitagama; and the Chairman of the Nigeria’s People’s Media Limited and a long-time member of IPI’s Nigerian National Committee, Wada Maida were also elected.

“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 voices 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: Editor-in-Chief, SME (Slovakia) Beata Balogová; Managing Editor, Norwegian News Agency (Norway) Ole Kristian Bjelaanes; Editor, Chosun Ilbo (South Korea) Woosuk “Kenneth” Choi; Editor, the British Journalism Review (UK) Kim Fletcher; columnist, Al Monitor (Turkey), Kadri Gürsel; New York and Canada Bureau Chief, ZDF German television (Germany) Johannes Hano; Editor-in-Chief, The Mainichi Shimbun (Japan), Hiroshi Komatsu; Deputy Editor, Público.es (Spain), Virginia Pérez Alonso; and Founder and CEO, SPILLMANN Media Management GmbH (Switzerland), Markus Spillmann.

The director general and founder of Community Media Network in Jordan, Daoud Kuttab, 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 and Guardian newspaper, respectively.

Kuttab assumes the seat of Dawn Thomas, the CEO of One Caribbean Media Ltd., who stepped down from the Executive Board due to term limits.

In addition to Thomas, Chairman of Nigeria’s Media Trust, Kabiru Yusuf, and CEO of Argentina’s Grupo Infobae, Daniel Hadad, 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.

“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.”