WAN-IFRA Elects Its First President

By: E&P Staff Gavin O'Reilly, CEO of Ireland-based Independent News & Media PLC, has been elected the first president of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the organization created by the July merger of the World Association of Newspapers and IFRA, the research and service organization for the news publishing industry.

O'Reilly, 42, who had been WAN president until the merger, was elected president of the merged organization at its first annual general meeting, held during the World Newspaper Congress which concludes today in Hyderabad, India.

Horst Pirker, chairman of Austria's Styria Media, was elected first vice president and is in line for the presidency when O'Reilly's term ends next December. Pirker had been president of IFRA.

As head of Independent News & Media, O'Reilly oversees an international newspaper group with more than 200 titles in Ireland, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and India.

As WAN president, he spearheaded several global initiatives for the industry, among them creation of the Automated Content Access Protocol to protect online publishers' intellectual property rights and formation of the News Media Coalition to defend open news coverage of sports and other events. WAN also had undertaken numerous press-freedom and industry-support initiatives during his tenure.

Fred Arp, chief financial officer of the Netherlands' Telegraaf Media Group, and Tore Stangebye, CEO of Norway's Berner Gruppen, were elected treasurers.


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