PARIS, FRANCE / DARMSTADT, GERMANY: In a double first, a South African, Cherilyn Ireton, has been appointed executive director of the WEF, and she is the first woman to head the global organisation of world's editors.
Ireton, a South African editor and successful senior manager at some of the country's top newspapers, has been appointed executive director of the World Editors Forum, the global organisation for editors within the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
Ireton is the first woman to head the organisation, which was created in 1994 as a unique global network for exchanging ideas on newsroom management, editorial quality, online strategies and press freedom issues.
She is a seasoned newspaper professional with more than 20 years experience on South Africa's top newspapers, including the Sunday Times
and Business Day
, where she worked as a journalist, editorial manager and chief operations officer. For the past six years she has been based in London, consulting on media matters to a variety of international organizations and governments.WEF must help in leading change
"The WEF needs to build on its role as THE leadership hub for editors by providing meaningful spaces, both physical and virtual, for editors to share intelligence, innovative ideas and their experiences with their peers," said Ireton. "Our interest must be in helping editors of news organisations lead change that builds loyal readership, strengthens titles and news brands.
"While attention to content delivery channels is vital to the future of newspapers, our focus must equally be on ensuring that high editorial standards and ethics are upheld and that young readers are introduced to the joy and power that news and information can bring," she said.
The WEF runs the Editors Weblog
and organises several conferences and study tours, including an annual Newsroom Summit and its flagship event: the World Editors Forum Conference, intended for chief editors and other senior executives, a unique annual occasion for dialogue, debate and idea-exchange on the changing business of editing newspapers.
More on the World Editors Forum can be found here