By Jackline Kansiime
Vision Group Editor-in-Chief Barbara Kaija has been elected to the supervisory board of directors for the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
Kaija and 10 other new board members were elected during the WAN-IFRA annual general meeting on 17 June 2022.
Commenting on the appointment, Kaija said: “I will put in a voice for Africa, but also a voice for women. As we transition into digital media, women are still behind, not because they do not have the opportunities, but probably we are not challenging ourselves.”
She said that some of the women doing well in different newsrooms have benefited from WAN-IFRA’s programmes.
“We credit WAN-IFRA’s Women in News Leadership Accelerator Programme that is deliberately looking out for women journalists and helping them to improve. The media is still male-dominated but we hope to continue improving,” Kaija said.
Kaija joined New Vision in 1992 and has been editor-in-chief for more than a decade. She was previously a trainee sub-editor, features editor and deputy chief sub-editor at the same media outlet.
Over the years, Kaija has championed professionalism and gender-sensitive media. It is no surprise that Vision Group Chief Executive Officer Don Wanyama lauded her for being a woman that supports other women in the newsroom.
“We congratulate her on this selection,” Wanyama said in New Vision’s Tuesday Edition. “We shall benefit a lot from your elevation. I am glad you are passionate about issues of women in the newsroom. The place of women in the newsroom is very important. I am glad [at] Vision Group we are sensitive to women issues.”
Carol Beyanga, the head of mentorship and partnership Nation Media Group-Uganda, said: “We now have someone who will speak for us. WAN-IFRA is a global organization that is respectable. Barbra deserves the recognition because she has been in the game for long.”
Other new members elected to the board are:
- Lina Attalah, Co-founder and Director, Mada Masr Media, Egypt
- Marijana Bojanic, CEO, Vijesti, Montenegro
- Juan Pablo Bojanini, President, El Heraldo de Barranquilla, Colombia
- Alia Ibrahim, Co-founder and CEO, Daraj Media, Lebanon
- Mohit Jain, Executive Director, Bennett, Coleman & Co, India
- Caroline Jerotich Kimutai, Digital Editor, Standard Group, Kenya
- Patty Michalski, Sr VP Content Strategy and Innovation, Hearst, USA
- Agnes Kalekye Nguna, COO, Radio Africa Group Limited, Kenya
- Caroline Southey, Founding Editor, The Conversation Africa, South Africa
- Lay Lim Teo, CEO, SPH Media Ltd, Singapore
According to a statement published on its website yesterday, the changes in its board of directors signal WAN-IFRA’s ongoing commitment to deliver on its strategic plan for diversity and inclusion initiated in 2017 and ensure that WAN-IFRA has the additional skillsets and experience to support future developments in different parts of the world.
WAN-IFRA CEO Vincent Peyregne said: “Today’s announcement advances our ongoing efforts to expand the expertise and diversity of our Board and confirms that a growing number of women are taking up senior positions in the media. However, we are far from the parity we aspire to as an industry. I hope this and future elections will lead the way.”