/ 19 August 2011

M&G’s Karjieker to lead Print Media SA

M&g's Karjieker To Lead Print Media Sa

The Mail & Guardian‘s chief executive officer Hoosain Karjieker has been selected as the new chairperson of Print Media South Africa (PMSA).

Print Media is a nonprofit organisation that represents the interests of 700 newspaper and magazine titles in South Africa, including community publications. It is made up of the Newspaper Association of South Africa, the Magazine Publishers Association of South Africa and the Association of Independent Publishers.

“One of the most important tasks of the Print Media Association of South Africa is to advocate for and uphold the importance of self-regulation in our sector,” Karjieker said in his first address on Thursday.

Karjieker spoke in Johannesburg at the release of the press council’s report into the self-regulatory practices of the media. The report was commissioned after the African National Congress called for a media tribunal to regulate the media, at its national conference in Polokwane in 2007.

The 98-page document, which took a year to compile, suggests changes to the way the council and ombud work to make it easier for the public to lay complaints against the media, and make review and disciplinary processes more transparent to the public.

But it still promotes self-regulation of the media, something that Karjieker emphasised in his speech.

With the Protection of Information Bill before Parliament and calls for a media appeals tribunal, the media’s method of self-regulating has been hotly debated.

Karjieker told the M&G that “with self-regulation in the spotlight it was important that the PMSA was suitably structured to voice our support or dissent where necessary, and to advocate and lobby for change to deal with issues”.

Karjieker said he envisaged that “the PMSA will take bolder positions on some of these issues in future and build on the strong foundation that has already been laid by the past president and the executive of the PMSA”.

Time of renewed threats
M&G editor-in-chief Nic Dawes congratulated Karjieker on the appointment. “Hoosain is an excellent choice to lead PMSA at a time when the traditional economic model of newspapers has been dramatically shaken up, and when the freedom of the print media to operate without political interference faces renewed threats.

“He understands and loves the traditional business, but he is absolutely committed to developing digital alternatives, and he wholeheartedly embraces the cause of press freedom.”

‘New visionary path’
M&G publisher Anastacia Martin congratulated Karjieker on his position. “We wish Hoosain every success in leading our industry through changing times,” said Martin.

She said he was joining the organisation at a time when print media was embracing digital technology and “developing a new visionary path”.

Ingrid Louw, the chief executive officer of the PMSA, said Karjieker would be working in a “rapidly evolving print media environment” and his appointment was “confirmation of the commitment that he has made to the industry associations over the past few years”.

Karjieker said he was “honoured at being given the opportunity to lead the association at this juncture, and am thankful for the opportunity given to me by my fellow board members. I do however realise that I have large shoes to fill in the form of some of the distinguished people that have led this organisation in the past”.

Karjieker, originally from Cape Town, served as a financial director at M&G Media in 1999 before becoming its chief executive in 2009. Before that, he was a financial manager at Multichoice South Africa.