The Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) concluded on September 22, 2016 its fourth World Forum for Media Development with the election of a new steering committee. The three-day conference was organised from September 20-22, 2016 in partnership with the Press Council of Indonesia at Multimedia University Nusantara (UMN), Jakarta.
The new Steering Committee is composed of 20 members: 14 members elected in Jakarta and six incumbents serving a third and final term. The Steering Committee then elected Ricardo Corredor (Colombia), Executive Director of Fundación Gabriel García Márquez para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI) as the new Chairman of GFMD. Kateryna Myasnikova (Ukraine) was chosen as Vice-Chair; Leon Morse (USA) as Secretary General, and Laurent Allary (France) as Treasurer.
In his first remarks as new Chairman, Ricardo Corredor underscored the need for strengthening cooperation within the GFMD network and increasing inter-regional and South-South cooperation. He also thanked outgoing Chairman Leon Willems for his outstanding contribution and leadership in expanding the GFMD network and furthering its mission. “We are honored at the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation by the trust of the new Steering Committee. We have been involved with GFMD since the beginning and we are committed to furthering its mission and values. Today, perhaps more than ever, the world needs more independent and free media to foster open and well informed societies and a network such as ours has all the knowledge and experience to continue working towards that goal,” he added.
Executive Committee Chairman Ricardo Corredor
The Jakarta World Forum followed GFMD’s success in putting access to information on the world’s Sustainable Development Goals agenda. The World Forum was also an occasion for GFMD members to renew their commitment to working together for a better protection of journalists and the successful implementation of access to information laws. GFMD members also laid the foundations for a closer cooperation around research projects related to media development and for joint responses around major political challenges facing independent, quality media, such as the use of media for propaganda purposes and restrictions to press freedom under the pretext of national security and countering terrorism.
GFMD is a unique network of 200 organisations, with a vibrant southern dimension. The members expressed the need to further develop the network’s learning agenda by increasing South to South exchange and cooperation, and strengthen the effectiveness and coordination of media assistance efforts.
The new Steering Committee includes:
Cyprian Ndikumana (Burundi), Director General of the Panos Institute, Great Lakes.
Diana Senghor (Senegal), founder and Director General of the Panos Institute West Africa (PIWA).
Western Europe caucus
Laurent Allary (France), advisor to the General Manager of CFI.
Petra Berner (Germany), head of Strategy and Consulting Services at DW Akademie.
Tihomir Loza (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Executive Director of the South Eastern European Network for Media Professionalization (SEENPM).
Kateryna Myasnikova (Ukraine), Executive Director of the Independent Association of Broadcasters.
Middle East and North Africa caucus
Gisèle Khoury (Lebanon), President of the Samir Kassir Foundation – SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom.
Mousa Rimawi (Palestine), co-founder and Director of the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms-MADA.
Owais Aslam Ali (Pakistan), Secretary General of Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), Chair of Pakistan Press International (PPI).
Nezar Patria (Indonesia), member of Indonesian Press Council for 2016-2019 and Chief Editor of The Jakarta Post Digital. Co-founder and Managing Editor at VIVA.co.id.
Latin America and Caribbean caucus
Denis Chabrol (Guyana), Second Vice President of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers. Publisher of Demerara Waves Online.
Ricardo Corredor (Colombia), Executive Director of the Gabriel García Márquez New Journalism Foundation (Fundación Gabriel García Márquez para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano - FNPI).
North America caucus
Jeanne Bourgault (USA), President and CEO of Internews.
Leon Morse (USA), Senior Media Advisor at IREX and Managing Editor of the Media Sustainability Index.
The 14 elected members join Leon Willems (Netherlands), Director for Policy and Programmes of Free Press Unlimited); Jesper Højberg (Denmark), Executive Director of International Media Support (IMS); James Deane (UK), Director for Policy and Learning at BBC Media Action; Joyce Barnathan (USA), President of the International Center for Journalists; Remzi Lani (Albania), Executive Director of the Albanian Media Institute; and Jeannette Minnie (South Africa), founder of Zambezi Fox, whose membership of GFMD’s Steering Committee was extended for a third and final term by the new GFMD Constitution, adopted on September 10, 2016.