Michael Golden is the new president of WAN-IFRA

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During the 69th WAN-IFRA annual congress in Durban, South Africa, Michael Golden, vice chairman of the Board of New York Times, was elected president of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. The association also appointed a new treasurer and a new president of the World Editors Forum. Sixteen executives from leading news media companies were also elected to new terms on the boards of WAN-IFRA and the World Editors Forum.

Michael Golden was elected by WAN-IFRA members at the World News Media Congress, World Editors Forum and Women in News Summit in Durban, South Africa. Approximately 700 publishers, editors, journalists, and other senior news executives from around the world attended the events. The conferences can be followed on the congress blog and on Twitter, #wnc17.

Michael Golden succeeds Tomas Brunegard, who was elected president of WAN-IFRA in 2013. Together with Paul Verwilt (Mediahuis, Belgium), who was elected new treasurer of the organisation at the same meeting, David Callaway (The Street, USA) and Kevin Beatty (Daily Mail Group), they will form the new presidency of WAN-IFRA for the two coming years.

“What I was able to help the New York Times do, and what I’d like to help WAN-IFRA do, is to reverse some of the current trends that are going on in the world. Media freedom is going the wrong direction in many parts of the world. Building on the tradition of WAN-IFRA to increase the dialogue about that, bring awareness to it, and underscore the importance of the role that media plays in informing citizens and making society work better,” said Michael Golden in an interview. “Being elected as president of WAN-IFRA is an honor and I take it as a vote of confidence. It is the opportunity to build on what we’ve done, and help the professionals operating independent media adjust their business models and prosper,” he added.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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