WAN-IFRA partners with News Media Canada and The Globe and Mail to launch new media support programme

The Canadian news media industry has joined forces with WAN-IFRA to support a new capacity building programme to strengthen the sustainability of innovative media from the Arab region. Media Mentoring Programme (MMP) Arab Region matches media companies with senior newspaper executives for in-house and virtual mentoring on business planning, audience engagement and revenue generation and diversification strategies. As part of the 15-month programme, media partners will also attend WAN-IFRA’s Digital Media Asia Conference in Hong Kong in November 2018 and the 71st World News Media Congress in Glasgow in June 2019, and take part in WAN-IFRA signature e-learning Media Management Accelerator.

WAN-IFRA worked closely with Canadian member association News Media Canada to identify and recruit participating mentors. The Globe and Mail also ran an internal call for interested staff members to join MMP Arab Region as mentors. The call resulted in a total of 33 applicants—three of which have now joined the programme as mentors.

“News Media Canada is pleased to be involved in this exciting project,” said CEO John Hinds. “We believe that the Canadian news media industry can make a meaningful contribution to strengthen independent media in the Arab region. At our recent meetings, many exciting ideas were exchanged, which is the first step in an evolving process of building sustainable independent media in the region.”

The programme formally launched in September 2018 with 12 representatives from the MENA-region media companies travelling to Toronto, Canada, for a study tour to Google, Toronto Life and The Globe and Mail, in addition to holding initial meetings with their mentors.

This is the second time WAN-IFRA has cooperated closely with a member association to engage media executives directly in its media freedom work. Since 2015 WAN-IFRA has partnered with Norwegian publishers’ association MBL to implement a similar programme in Southeast Asia, which sees Norwegian media executives travelling to Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar to conduct in-house mentoring and workshops on an annual basis.

Participating mentors for MMP Arab Region are:

  • Bob Cox, Publisher, Winnipeg Free Press; Chair, News Media Canada
  • Gordon Edall, Director of Globe Labs and Corporate Security Officer, The Globe and Mail
  • Erin Elder, Senior Manager, Globe Alliance – Business Strategy and Operations, The Globe and Mail
  • Sophie Gaulin, Director and Editor-in-Chief, La Liberté (Manitoba)
  • Abbas Homayed, Vice President, Laurentian Publishing Ltd.; Publisher, Northern Life and Northern Ontario Business Newspapers
  • Nancy Johnson, Vice President, Manitoba Operations, Prairie Newspaper Group, Glacier Media
  • Peter Kvarnstrom, Publisher, North Shore News; President, Community Media for Glacier Media
  • Sonali Verma, Deputy Head of Audience, The Globe and Mail

MMP Arab Region is made possible through a new partnership with Open Society Foundations. MMP Southeast Asia is made possible through support by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


WAN-IFRA is the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. Its mission is to protect the rights of journalists across the world to operate free media, and provide its members with professional services to help their business prosper in a digital world and perform their crucial role in open societies. With formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe, it derives its authority from its global network of leading news publishing companies and technology entrepreneurs, and its legitimacy from its 80 national association members representing 18,000 publications in 120 countries. www.wan-ifra.org

About News Media Canada

News Media Canada is the voice of the print and digital media industry in Canada, representing hundreds of trusted titles in every province and territory. Created in late 2016 as a product of the agreement by its members to merge the Canadian Newspaper Association and the Canadian Community Newspapers Association, News Media Canada provides a range of services to its members, advocating on their behalf and increasing the profile of the industry with advertisers, government and other stakeholders.  For the latest news and information about the news media industry, visit www.newsmediacanada.ca, follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook page.


For more information:

Melanie Walker, Director, Media Development

John Hinds, President and CEO
News Media Canada