THREE outstanding female editors, including the Zimbabwe Independent boss Faith Zaba , have won the WAN-IFRA Women in News’s 2022 Editorial Leadership Award.
Zaba, editor of the Independent since 2019, has been named 2022 laureate for Africa; Diana Moukalled, co-founder of Daraj Media in Lebanon for the Arab region; and Regina “Ging” Reyes, senior vice-president and head of integrated news and current affairs division of ABS-CBN Corporation in Philippines for Southeast Asia.
The annual WIN Editorial Leadership Award recognises exemplary contribution of an editor to her newsroom, and under her leadership, her media organisation’s contribution to society.
The three editors honoured were selected by members of the Women in News Global Steering Committee based on criteria such as commitment to editorial excellence, gender equality and supporting the next generation of media leaders.
The 2022 laureates were honoured at WAN-IFRA’s World News Media congress taking place from 28-30 September in Zaragoza, Spain. In his congratulatory message, WAN-IFRA’s chief executive Vincent Peyregne said: “Equality and inclusion in the media are essential for a healthy and representative society. We are happy to welcome our 2022 laureates, Zaba, Moukalled and Reyes to the group of media leaders who play an exceptional role in making a difference in media while contributing to these fundamental ideals.”
Zaba, who is the first woman to edit the Independent, which is owned by Alpha Media Holdings, publishers of the NewsDay and The Standard, as well as owners of Heart & Soul online radio station, has more than 27 years of experience in the news industry.
She was also the first woman to be appointed deputy editor in 2016 by her predecessor Dumisani Muleya, who ran the paper for nearly a decade, the first of many other appointments until she became editor in 2019. Zaba said: “This award is a message to young women in the media and those who have the beautiful dream of joining this amazing profession; they too can sit at the table. Through sheer hard work, perseverance and determination, glass ceilings can be shattered. My message to the young women journalists is to never give up. You are worthy and, yes, you can. I am deeply humbled and honoured to receive this prestigious global recognition.”
Moukalled is the co-founder of Daraj.com, an independent media platform addressing controversial issues in the Arab region.
She is a Lebanese journalist and documentary producer and director with almost 30 years of experience in the media industry.
She has covered hot zones in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and other conflict zones, and has shot more than 50 hours of documentaries, tackling socio-political issues in the Arab region and globally.
Moukalled is also a columnist and a media and gender trainer. “I am deeply touched by this award. It’s an acknowledgment that goes beyond individuals to highlight the challenges journalists in general and women journalists in particular face.
The current political, economic and security conditions in the Arab region may lead only to more discontent and frustration. The situation simply doesn’t encourage optimism. It is, however, a road worth taking, with genuine commitment, patience, and enthusiasm,” said Moukalled.
Reyes, a seasoned news executive with more than 30 years’ experience as a journalist, is currently the senior vice-president and head of integrated news and current affairs division of ABS-CBN Corporation, one of the Philippines’ leading media and entertainment companies.
A premier news personality in the Filipino-American community, Reyes established and expanded ABS-CBN’s news operations in the United States and Canada. Said Reyes: “This honour comes at a time when our news organisation continues to be severely challenged on many fronts.
I am deeply moved and humbled to receive this recognition on behalf of my entire news team, most especially the women in our newsroom and in the field. They are at the forefront of our battle to defend media freedom in our country and preserve the values of our profession.”
Previous Laureates of the WIN Editorial Leadership Award include: Toyosi Ogunseye, Head of West Africa at BBC World Service, Karima Kamal, columnist and contributing editor for the Egyptian daily Al Masry Al Youm, Pamella Sittoni, executive editor for the Daily Nation in Kenya, Noura al-Hourani, lead Arabic editor at Syria Direct, Barbara Kaija, Editor-in-Chief of the Vision Group in Uganda, Anna Nimiriano, editor-in-chief of the Juba Monitor in South Sudan, Acil Tabbara, senior editor at the French-language Lebanese daily L’Orient Le Jour, Mary Mbewe, executive editor of Zambia’s Daily Nation, Etaf Roudan, director of Radio al-Balad in Jordan, Edyth Kambalame, editor at The Nation on Sunday and vice-president of the Malawi Editors’ Forum Samia Nakhoul, Middle East Editor at Thomson Reuters and multi-award winning journalist, and Nyein Nyein Naing, editor-in-chief at 7Day News digital in Myanmar. — STAFF WRITER