The International Publishers Association (IPA) has named Ben Steward as its first director of communications and freedom to publish, in a move designed to boost awareness of the IPA’s work, especially in defending the right of publishers to publish and distribute works in complete freedom, and in promoting copyright.
The new role of director of communications and freedom to publish combines the role of communications director (previously held by Dougal Thomson) with the handling of the freedom to publish programme, which Jose Borghino looked after before his recent promotion to IPA secretary general.
In 2006, Steward joined the Geneva-based European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the world’s foremost alliance of public service media. Over five years as an editor on the EBU’s Eurovision News Exchange, he curated and managed international television news content and newswires for Europe’s leading national broadcasters.
Most recently Steward has served as communications aide to senior management at MSC Cruises, driving and managing all executive output, while doubling as liaison to the European cruise industry association, CLIA.
Based in Geneva, Steward will report to Borghino and begin his role in the new year.
Borghino said: "I am delighted that Ben is joining us. He is fluent in Italian and French, and has a good grasp of Spanish, and he will bring a fresh energy to the IPA’s communications. A commitment to freedom of expression was central to his work at the EBU and he has the necessary experience and skillset to considerably enhance IPA’s messaging. I look forward to working closely with Ben to ensure that we deliver the right kind of services to our members."
IPA president Richard Charkin said: "Freedom to publish is under increased assault worldwide and the IPA needs to redouble its commitment to protecting this essential human right. This means honing the way IPA communicates with national and supranational decision makers, our members and society in general. As director, communications and freedom to publish, Ben has all the skills to address this challenge, and I welcome him to the IPA team."