World Editors Forum Asia Chapter launched to build future newsrooms

SINGAPORE, May 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Editors from 15 news organizations around Asia have come together to set up a new Asia Chapter of the World Editors Forum, a grouping of editors under the auspices of World Association of Newspapers (WAN-IFRA).

Media leaders from the region cutting a red ribbon on stage during the launch ceremony of the World Editors Forum Asia chapter. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES
Media leaders from the region cutting a red ribbon on stage during the launch ceremony of the World Editors Forum Asia chapter. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES

They met in the newsroom of The Straits Times on Tuesday (07 May 2019) to discuss the formation of the group, its goals and objectives, and some areas they might work together on.

Editors agreed that this initiative was timely as newsrooms face many common challenges and need to collaborate to address pressing issues related to:

  • Credibility: Safeguarding journalists and newsrooms' freedom to operate and maintain their credibility with readers, who are looking for trusted voices, especially in the wake of the proliferation of fake news;

  • Capacity: Maintaining and growing newsroom resources to deliver quality journalism, which is resource intensive and expensive;

  • Capabilities: Developing newsroom abilities to respond to changing communications technology in the face of relentless media disruption.

To meet these challenges, editors have proposed the following initiatives to kick off their collaborative efforts:

  1. World News Day: Endorse and promote World News Day in the region to celebrate the work of journalists and promote awareness of the importance of professional newsrooms and quality journalism for proper governance and society. Editors agreed that their newsrooms will collaborate to produce content to do so;

  2. Best practices on newsroom transformation: Sharing experiences and learnings from newsrooms and editors in the process of dealing with transforming to operate across multimedia platforms in the new media business environment;

  3. WEF newsroom internship: Forging partnerships with leading media schools around the region to promote journalism as a profession, and work on projects under the mentorship of newsroom editors and WAN-IFRA consultants;

  4. Widening access: Partnering with social and philanthropic foundations in the region to help make training and development programmes more widely accessible to newsrooms and journalists, especially younger ones, with a view to building up a network for collaboration into the future;

  5. Working groups: Establishing working groups to look further into issues of how to attract, retain and develop talent for the newsrooms, and also to tap emerging media technologies and prepare the newsroom for these.

WEF Asia chapter will meet at least twice a year to review and further these efforts. The next meeting is scheduled on October, on the sidelines of WAN-IFRA's Digital Media Asia conference in Hongkong.

Members of the chapter have elected Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English, Malay, Tamil Media Group and Editor of The Straits Times, as the founding chairman of the WEF Asia chapter.

The other founding members of the WEF Asia Chapter are: the president director of Antara News Agency, Mr Meidyatama Suryodiningrat, the editor of The Bangkok Post, Mr Soonruth Bunyamanee, chief executive of Malaysia's Bernama News Agency, Ms Nurini Kassim, editor (future planning desk) of The Chosun Ilbo, Mr Ken Woosuk Choi, editor and publisher of The Daily Star, Mr Mahfuz Anam, editor-in-chief of The Jakarta Post, Mr Nezar Patria, the managing editor of South Korean daily JoongAng Ilbo, Mr Park Seung Hee, the editor-in-chief of Mediacorp, Mr Walter Fernandez, the publisher and chief executive officer of The Phnom Penh Post, Mr Ly Tayseng, the editor-in-chief of Malaysia's Sin Chew Media Corporation, Mr Kuik Cheng Kang, the editor-in-chief of South China Morning Post, Ms Tammy Tam, the Chief Content Officer of Star Media Group, Ms Esther Ng, the president and director of editorial affairs of Taiwan's United Daily News, Mr George Shuang and the editor-in-chief of Viet Nam News, Ms Thuy Trinh Thanh.

Said Mr Fernandez: "Newsrooms around the world are facing big challenges. These range from the need to transform to multimedia operations, to maintaining the credibility and quality of our content, in the face of the welter of fake news out there. Quality content, however, takes a lot of resources, so we have to keep our newsrooms financially sound and sustainable, if we are to keep going."

He added: "Some newsrooms are further down the road and we can all learn from each other. We should also tap the wealth of experience and expertise that is available at WAN-IFRA to help us along."

"So there is a sense that we are all in this together and so we are minded to collaborate to tackle these common challenges. This is what has brought us all together to form the WEF Asia Chapter."

Said WAN-IFRA's Chief Operating Officer, Mr Thomas Jacob: "At a time of 'fake news' and declining trust, when even reputable media are vilified and discredited by those in power, the need to grow one's credibility and loyal readership has never been greater."

"With 15 of the region's leading news publishers coming together to share best practices and learn from one another, this will strengthen their capabilities to produce news that serves society and makes a difference." 


WAN-IFRA (, or the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, is based in Paris, France, and Frankfurt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India and Mexico. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.

The WAN-IFRA Asia Pacific office, based in Singapore, helps to bring services such as training, events, consulting, and publications closer to members in the region.

About The Straits Times

The Straits Times, the English-language flagship daily of Singapore Press Holdings, is the most-read newspaper in Singapore and is followed widely in the region for its comprehensive multimedia coverage of local, regional and world news, provided by its correspondents in 12 bureaus in major cities worldwide. 

Launched on July 15, 1845, The Straits Times has been moving with the times in its efforts to engage and grow its audience and exploring innovative ways of storytelling, as well as continuously refreshing its products to maintain quality and stay relevant to the changing needs of its readers. Its integrated newsroom operates round-the-clock, providing content as it happens on all platforms, from its website at, Apple and Android apps to social media.

The Straits Times is a member of two media networks - the Asia News Network and the Impact Journalism Day alliance of newspapers - and it has won multiple international media awards, including from the Society of Publishers in Asia, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association (Panpa), Society of News Design and WAN-IFRA. Its multimedia newsroom and innovative projects were recognised at the annual regional WAN-IFRA event in Hong Kong in November 2018 when it emerged the biggest winner, sweeping nine Asian Digital Media awards, including two golds for best innovation to engage youth audience, and best lifestyle, sports, entertainment website.

PR Newswire is the media partner of Asian Media Awards.

Jointly issued by 

WAN-IFRA Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd   Regn. No. 199801882H
Singapore Press Holdings Ltd Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

For more information, please contact: 

Joon-Nie Lau
Director, Asia
WAN-IFRA Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd
Phone: +65 6562-8442
Mobile: +65 9684-3181
Email:  |

Shefali Rekhi
Asia News Network Editor
The Straits Times & 
Editor, ST Asia Report
DID: +65 6319 5611

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