Jacob Mathew Elected President of WAN-IFRA

Jacob Mathew, Executive Editor and Publisher of the Malayala Manorama Group of Publications in Kerala, India, has been elected President of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

Mr Mathew, who will begin his two-year term on 1 July, is the first Indian to hold the presidency of the global organisation of the world’s press. He will succeed Gavin O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer of Independent News & Media plc, 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.

Mr Mathew was elected on Friday by the WAN-IFRA General Assembly of Members, held during the WAN-IFRA Board meeting in Dublin, Ireland. Tomas Brunegård, CEO of the Stampen Group in Sweden, was elected First Vice President.

“I have served on the board and the Executive Council for a period of four years. I have also been an active participant in many WAN-IFRA events for over two decades. WAN-IFRA’s wonderful work has contributed much, especially when the industry is going through a critical period,” Mr Mathew said.

“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 of WAN-IFRA, we should be able to handle the different challenging situations in a positive manner.²

The Malayala Manorama group publishes Malayala Manorama daily with a circulation of more than 1.9 million copies per day. The group has 50 publications, as well as the 24-hour news broadcast channel Manorama News and FM stations. Manoramaonline is one of the most widely read newspaper websites in India.

Mr 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 had 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, Managing Director of the Estonian Newspaper Association; Philippe Massonnet, Information Director of Agence France-Presse; Eric-Paul Dijkhuizen, CEO of AD NieuwsMedia, the Netherlands; Patrick Morely, Chief Operating Officer of Telegraaf Media Group, the Netherlands; and Ivar Rusdal, Managing Director 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 Mr Mathew.

WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Spain, France and Sweden, is the global organisation of the world¹s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.

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