Ireton is the first woman to head the organisation, which was created in 1994 as a unique global network for exchanging ideas on newsroom management, editorial quality, online strategies and press freedom issues. More on the World Editors Forum can be found here
Ireton is a seasoned newspaper professional with more than twenty years experience with South Africa’s top newspapers, including the Sunday Times
and Business Day
, where she worked as a journalist, editorial manager and chief operations officer. For the past six years she has been based in London, consulting on media matters to a variety of international organisations and governments.
"The WEF needs to build on its role as THE leadership hub for editors by providing meaningful spaces, both physical and virtual, for editors to share intelligence, innovative ideas and their experiences with their peers,” said Ireton. “Our interest must be in helping editors of news organisations lead change that builds loyal readership, strengthens titles and news brands."
“While attention to content delivery channels is vital to the future of newspapers, our focus must equally be on ensuring that high editorial standards and ethics are upheld and that young readers are introduced to the joy and power that news and information can bring," she said.
The WEF runs the Editors Weblog
and organises several conferences and study tours, including an annual Newsroom Summit
and its flagship event: the World Editors Forum Conference
, intended for chief editors and other senior executives, a unique annual occasion for dialogue, debate and idea-exchange on the changing business of editing newspapers.
The WEF conference is held annually alongside the World Newspaper Congress
. Together the meetings are the global annual summit meetings of the world’s press.
The Editors Forum provides resources to editors at a time when the organisation of editorial departments is facing a revolution: competition for reader attention and loyalty is intensifying; technological innovation is altering the entire publishing process; and the design and content of newspapers, both digital and print, is changing dramatically. And the skill set for editors is changing too: finance and budget control, human resources, technology and management.
Set against this background, the ethical and political role of the press is constantly being called into question, requiring editors to be increasingly vigilant and vocal in their defence of the freedom of the press. The World Editors Forum is the only global organisation to provide a platform and opportunities for exchange and debate on these fundamental professional issues.
The forum is guided by an advisory board, chaired by Erik Bjerager, editor-in-chief and managing director of the Danish national daily Kristeligt Dagblad
, which meets four times a year. Day-to-day management is carried out by Ireton.