WAN-IFRA Launches “Women In News” Initiative

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) today launched Women in News (WIN), an initiative to help women in middle management in southern African news media to advance their careers.

Eighteen media professionals from Botswana, Namibia and Zambia were meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa Thursday and Friday (1-2 July) for the start of a six-month programme of events that include panel discussions, one-on-one coaching, training sessions and personal mentoring.

The goal of the project, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), is to help women media professionals, who are under-represented in top management positions, to excel in their careers. This is the first phase of a multi-year project, which will expand in scope and be brought to other countries in Africa in 2011.

WIN Launch in Johannesburg July 1-2 2010“The Women in News programme aims to equip mid-level managers with the strategies, skills and support networks necessary to advance their careers and achieve their professional goals,” said Kajsa Tornroth, Director of Media Development for WAN-IFRA. “This is the first time WAN-IFRA has created a media development programme that specifically targets women media professionals, who far too often are absent from leadership positions within their organisations.

“We recognise that there are no ‘quick fixes’ when it comes to media development, and the WIN programme reflects WAN-IFRA’s overall development strategy, which is to create and implement sustainable initiatives with long-term impact,” she said. “We are excited about this pioneer programme, which we believe will effect real and quantifiable change.”

The WIN programme is supported by an Advisory Board comprised of accomplished media professionals with an interest in seeing the next generation of women media professionals succeed. The Board includes: Beata Kasale, co-owner and publisher of The Voice, Botswana’s best Johannesburgselling newspaper; Gwen Lister, founder and editor-in-chief of The Namibian; Ferial Haffajee, editor of the City Press newspaper in Johannesburg and chairperson of the South African National Editors Forum; and Yvonne Pele Shibemba, editor of Education Post, a weekly supplement of The Post newspaper in Zambia.

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and WAN-IFRA conduct an ambitious strategic partnership to advance media development and press freedom worldwide.  The partnership allows WAN-IFRA to broaden and develop its press freedom and media development activities to support free and financially sustainable media worldwide. A series of pilot projects to test new methods and approaches in strengthening media in emerging markets was launched this year.

For more on these projects, please consult http://www.wan-press.org/pfreedom/articles.php?id=5826 . For more on what WAN-IFRA does for media development, go to http://www.wan-press.org/pfreedom/articles.php?id=3838

WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Spain, France and Sweden, is the global organisation of the world’s 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.  The organisation was created by the merger of the World Association of Newspapers and IFRA, the research and service organisation for the news publishing industry.

Learn more about WAN-IFRA at http://www.wan-ifra.org or through the WAN-IFRA Magazine at http://www.wan-ifra.org/magazine

Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, WAN-IFRA, 7 rue Geoffroy St Hilaire, 75005 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00. Fax: +33 1 47 42 49 48. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail: larry.kilman(at)wan-ifra.org

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