Lisa MacLeod, Head of Digital at Tiso Blackstar, elected Vice President of WAN-IFRA

Lisa MacLeod, Head of Digital at Tiso Blackstar is WAN-IFRA incoming vice president
Lisa MacLeod, Head of Digital at Tiso Blackstar is WAN-IFRA incoming vice president

Lisa MacLeod , Head of Digital at Tiso Blackstar Group, South Africa, was elected Vice-President of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers on 7 June 2018 during the 70th WAN-IFRA’s annual congress in Estoril, Portugal. Executives from leading news media companies were also elected to new terms on the Board of WAN-IFRA.

The election took place at the World News Media Congress, World Editors Forum and Women in News Summit in Estoril, Portugal. The event was attended by more than 800 publishers, editors, journalists, and other senior news executives from around the world. The new presidency of WAN-IFRA includes MacLeod, Michael Golden (President), Paul Verwilt (Mediahuis, Belgium), David Callaway (The Street, USA).

Lisa MacLeod, expressing her gratitude for being elected, said, “I am very honoured to be appointed to the board of WAN-IFRA, and grateful for the opportunity to serve this respected organisation at this time. The media industry is undergoing enormous change, primarily through digital transformation and the decline of print, and I hope to bring some of my experience in this area to WAN-IFRA, as an industry body that is trusted and relied on worldwide to lead and educate through such challenge.”

Tiso Blackstar Group , South Africa, is Africa’s largest English-language publisher, and owner of 8 newspapers, 15 websites, music, film and radio businesses. MacLeod is also the former General Manager of Digital for Media24’s; and a former Head of Operations for, and FT Managing Editor.

The election of Lisa MacLeod is a step towards WAN-IFRA’S new Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion, a plan to achieve gender balance in its operations and governance bodies by 2020.

Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of WAN-IFRA, commenting on the inception of the plan, said, “I am particularly pleased with the increased diversity we bring into the Board with the election of Lisa MacLeod, the first female Vice President ever in our organisation. Lisa MacLeod’s election is the first significant outcome of our Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion passed by our Board of directors during a previous meeting on December 2017. The election also takes place at a special time, as we celebrated the 70th anniversary of our association and presented in Estoril the most gender-balanced Congress in the history of the organsation. Our action plan goes deep into the organisation and the governance of WAN-IFRA. We have a lot more to achieve in the coming months.”

At the same meeting, seven other executives from leading news media companies were elected to new terms on the Board of WAN-IFRA. The new Board members of WAN-IFRA are:
Alexander Mitteräcker, Publisher of Der Standard (Austria)
Stoyana Georgieva, Founder and Editor in Chief of the online news site (Bulgaria)
Juan Guillermo Amaya Salcedo, CEO, El Tiempo (Colombia)
Fatemah Farag, CEO Welad Elbalad Media (Egypt)
Shailesh Gupta, CEO Jagran Prakashan (India)
Karin Pettersson, Director Public Policy, Schibsted (Sweden)
Yildirim Demiroren, CEO, Demiroren Holding (Turkey)

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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