Timothy Balding, the Director General for Global Affairs of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has left the organisation after a long career as a leading champion of press freedom and media development world-wide.
Mr Balding had been Chief Executive Officer of the World Association of Newspapers before the July 2009 merger of WAN with IFRA, the news publishing service and research organisation.
Under his direction, the World Association of Newspapers grew from a "club" of publishers into a global force for the publishing industry world-wide. Membership in the organization grew from 23 to 122 countries during his tenure; annual participation in WAN events grew from 250 to more than 3,000.
As head of WAN, Mr Balding was known for his outstanding work in defending and promoting press freedom world-wide. He greatly expanded WAN's research and commercial activities and was the architect of the World Newspaper Congress, the annual global meeting of the world's press. Under his leadership, WAN created numerous initiatives on behalf of the industry, including the annual World Press Trends survey, the Shaping the Future of
the Newspaper project and the World Editors Forum.
"Timothy Balding is recognised as a leading advocate for the press world-wide, and his tireless and effective work has benefitted the entire industry in innumerable ways," said Gavin O'Reilly, President of WAN-IFRA. "He will be missed by all those who have worked with him over the years. We wish him well in his future endeavours."
Timothy Balding became Director General, Global Affairs, of WAN-IFRA following the merger of WA N and IFRA last year. He had previously served as Chief Executive Officer of WAN, where he worked in various positions since1985.
Mr Balding, who is British, was formerly a journalist. He worked for several newspapers in Great Britain, including the Oxford Mail, and was a political correspondent for Press Association, the news agency, before moving to France in the early 1980s.