Jacob Mathew was elected on Friday, 8 April 2011, as the president of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) by its general assembly of members, held during the its board meeting in Dublin, Ireland and on 6-7 April the association's Printing Summit in Mainz, Germany, reaffirmed print's vital role today and in the future.
Mathew, executive editor and publisher of the Malayala Manorama Group in Kerala, India, is the first Indian to hold the presidency of the global organisation of the world's press. He will begin his two-year term on 1 July, 2011, succeeding Gavin O'Reilly, CEO of Independent News & Media, who has been president since 2004 and notably oversaw the 2009 merger of the World Association of Newspapers with IFRA, the research and service organisation for the news publishing industry.
"There are opportunities and challenges. We know the global trend in the industry. However, the encouraging sign in the Asian market at the moment is different. So one needs to address issues separately. With the committed team, we should be able to handle the different challenging situations in a positive manner," stated Mathew.
Mathew is a trustee of the Press Institute of India/Research Institute for Newspaper Development and is also on the Asian Board of INMA. He is a past president of the Indian Newspaper Society and is a past chairman of the Advertising Standards Council of India.
Tomas Brunegård, CEO of the Stampen Group in Sweden, was elected first vice president. He has led the Swedish media company Stampen Group since 2004 and has been a driving force in reshaping the Swedish media market. Under his leadership, the company has quickly grown to be one of the largest media groups in Sweden. He is also chairman of the board of the WAN-IFRA Press Freedom Development Fund, which oversees the press freedom and media development work of the organisation.
Six new members were also elected to the Board of WAN-IFRA: Libuse Smuclerova, CEO of Ringier Axel Springer, Czech Republic; Mart Raudsaar, MD of the Estonian Newspaper Association; Philippe Massonnet, information director of Agence France-Presse; Eric-Paul Dijkhuizen, CEO of AD NieuwsMedia, the Netherlands; Patrick Morely, COO of Telegraaf Media Group, the Netherlands; and Ivar Rusdal, MD of Jaerbladet, Norway.
Three ex-officio members were appointed: Margaret Boribon, chairwoman of the Committee of Directors of WAN-IFRA Member Associations; Erik Bjerager, president of the World Editors Forum; and Mathew.
The conference, organised on 6 and 7 April by WAN-IFRA, addressed all the critical issues facing newspapers and newspaper printers, particularly how improved and innovative print products will help companies forge a strong future.
Many newspapers and printers are convinced that offering semi-commercial and even commercial products to readers will help cement their future prosperity, thanks in large part to the available printing and mailroom technologies and better research in market orientation.
Most speakers and participants agreed that newspapers must continue to invest to continue to secure the majority of total revenues they still derive from print.
View the Printing Summit conference summaries here.
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