Schibsted executive elected new chairwoman of WAN-IFRA Media Freedom Board

Schibsted executive elected new chairwoman of WAN-IFRA Media Freedom Board
Karin Pettersson

Karin Pettersson, director of Public Policy at the Schibsted Media Group, has been elected chairwoman of the WAN-IFRA Media Freedom Board. She succeeds Lars Henrik Munch, chairman of JP/Politikens Hus, who had held the post since 2013.

In her new role, Pettersson will advise and guide WAN-IFRA in its mission to address challenges to media freedom worldwide, develop programs to strengthen business and editorial competencies, and increase diversity of leadership and voices within the media.

“I have spent my life in journalism, politics and advocacy. What fundamentally drives me is a belief that journalism has the power to make the world a better place,”  said Pettersson, whose election to the role was confirmed at a meeting of WAN-IFRA’s Executive Committee in London on 9 March 2018.

“Around the globe authoritarian regimes threaten freedom of expression and the possibility for journalists to report and speak truth to power. There is an urgent need to strengthen our profession, and the work that WAN-IFRA does to support human rights and fundamental democratic values is extremely important,”  she continued.

WAN-IFRA is a global industry association guided by a human rights mandate to promote media freedom, and the economic independence of news media as an essential condition of that freedom. Within the scope of this mandate, the Media Freedom Board has a primary role to provide both guidance and insight to the organization’s  strategic direction, as well as practical support to WAN-IFRA’s on-going work with approximately 150 media entities and 600+ media professionals in 25 countries worldwide.

WAN-IFRA has a unique ability to engage, mobilize and empower the media industry to tackle media freedom challenges. Drawing directly upon skills and expertise from within the industry itself, a peer-to-peer approach to knowledge sharing and collective action results in a stronger advocacy voice that promotes solidarity across the sector.

Pettersson’s primary task will be to advise on the implementation of WAN-IFRA’s five-year media freedom strategic roadmap and assist the expansion of programmes successfully implemented under the tenure of outgoing chairman, Lars Munch.

Before being appointed director of Public Policy at Schibsted Group in December 2017, Pettersson  was the political editor-in-chief at Aftonbladet, Scandinavia’s largest daily newspaper.  She is co-founder and former editor-in-chief of Fokus, Sweden’s leading newsmagazine. During her time at Fokus, the publication won one of Sweden’s most prestigious awards for reinventing political journalism. At Aftonbladet, Karin quadrupled the readership of the editorial page and started a new digital brand for editorial journalism online. She won the European Newspaper Award for a series about Roma people in Stockholm, and is the 2017 Nieman-Berkman Fellow in Journalism Innovation.

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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