The news of Toyosi Ogunseye’s election as the Vice President of the World Editors Forum (WEF) on Saturday, June 1st was like a blazing inferno across the whole of Africa.
The WEF, notable as the leading network for print and digital editors of newspapers and news organisations around the globe, elected Ogunseye (head of BBC West Africa) to deputise Warren Fernandez, (editor of the Straits Times and editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings’ English, Malay, and Tamil Media Group) elected President. The election was conducted during the annual meeting of the WEF at Glasgow, Scotland. It is the first time in the over two decade history of the forum that an Asian and African filled both positions with Ogunseye emerging as the first African to occupy the Office of the Vice President.
The World Editors Forum, managed by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), is the worldwide community of newspaper editors.
“Warren and Toyosi’s elections ensure WEF is in good hands as we encounter the challenges of the next two years. With media freedom under attack from all sides, a diverse, experienced leadership is what we need to help bring our industry together and take it forward.’’Dave Callaway (Outgoing President of the WEF)
Toyosi Ogunseye, a graduate of the Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, 2006 is one of the most respected journalists in Africa.
Ogunseye, prior to her appointment as the head of British Broadcasting Corporation West Africa (BBC), was outstanding in her position as editor of Nigerian Newspaper The Punch. Needless to forget is the fact that Ogunseye was the first female editor of the Newspaper outlet since establishment in 1971.
In her career which has spanned 15 years, Toyosi Ogunseye has won several awards including Knight International Journalism Award, CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Awards (2011 and 2013), Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME), and the Nigerian Academy of Science Journalist of the Year. The Mandela Washington fellow is without doubt a role model for aspiring journalists and youths worldwide.
In a world where women are often placed at a disadvantaged position due to their gender, Toyosi Ogunseye is an inspiration. Regardless of her gender, Ogunseye has hit remarkable heights in her career and is proof that nothing is impossible. She is evidence of a projected world where women would be free just as men to pursue their dreams.
“To the senior media executives in this room I say; we should lead by example, and create a safe haven for the women we work with… In the part of the world that I’m from, the newsrooms are masculine. Because of this, few women could talk. This challenge should be for both men and women. Men can also be role models for women to talk to.’’Ogunseye (Women In News Summit)
It will be no surprise if in no distant time, Ogunseye emerges top on the global list of most influential journalists.
Featured image source: Media Career Services