Recognizing excellence in newsroom leadership

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Barbara Kaija, group editor-in-chief of New Vision Press and Publishing Company Ltd in Uganda, has been named the 2018 Africa Laureate. Noura al Hourani, lead arabic editor at Syria Direct, has been named the 2018 MENA Laureat
Barbara Kaija, group editor-in-chief of New Vision Press and Publishing Company Ltd in Uganda, has been named the 2018 Africa Laureate. Noura al Hourani, lead arabic editor at Syria Direct, has been named the 2018 MENA Laureate.

The Women in News Editorial Leadership Award recognizes an exemplary contribution of a woman editor to her newsroom – and under her leadership the contribution of her newspaper – to society. Editors from Syria and Uganda will receive the award recognizing their exceptional leadership in their newsroom during the WAN-IFRA Women in News Summit, Estoril, Portugal, on 6 June 2018.

Barbara Kaija, group editor-in-chief of New Vision Press and Publishing Company Ltd. in Uganda, has been named the 2018 Africa Laureate. Noura al Hourani, lead Arabic editor at Syria Direct, has been named the 2018 MENA Laureate.

“This acknowledgement by WAN-IFRA is recognition for all women in the media in Africa. My win is a win for all women in the newsrooms at Vision Group and all women in the media in Uganda. I am humbled to join the few women laureates in newsrooms in Africa and I pray that this will grow into a large army and large voice for the voiceless in our society,” said Kaija.

On being named a winner, al Hourani said, “Today, we must strive to empower women at all levels and ensure that they are properly represented in leadership roles, politically and professionally, especially in the Middle East. I am incredibly grateful to Syria Direct for providing me with my first opportunity to lead, and I want to thank WAN-IFRA for its support and encouragement for women to be role models.”

The Women in News Editorial Leadership Award is part of WAN-IFRA’s Women in News initiative, made possible through support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The award recognizes one Laureate from MENA and one Laureate from Africa, annually.

Previous Laureates include Toyosi Ogunseye, former editor of the Sunday Punch in Nigeria, Karima Kamal, columnist and contributing editor for the Egyptian daily Al Masry Al Yom, and Pamella Sittoni, editor of the International Desk for the Nation Media Group and managing editor for The East African.

The 2018 Laureates will be honored at the WAN-IFRA World News Media Congress, World Editors’ Forum, and Women in News Summit, taking place in Estoril-Cascais, Portugal from 6-8 June.

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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– Naresh Khanna

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