#PMA18 | Speaker Profiles

Global Conference | Jamaica | 13 August 2018

Gary Allen

CEO, RJRGleaner Communications Group

Mr. Allen is a career journalist and Media Manager with experience in local, regional and international media. He has served RJRGLEANER for 20 years. At the regional level he served the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, (CBU), the Caribbean News Agency, (CANA) and the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC). He is a graduate of the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications (CARIMAC), and the Mona School of Business (MSB) at the UWI, and is a past chairman of the Media Association Jamaica Limited and the Jamaica Debates Commission. He is President of the CARIBBEAN BROADCASTING UNION (CBU) and Vice President of the Public Media Alliance (PMA). He serves as Chairman of Independent Radio Company and director on the subsidiary boards of TVJ, JNN, RETV and GCML. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group on April 1, 2016.

Session:Maintaining public trust and credibility in the digital era

Caroline Bannock

Editor, Community & UGC Guardian News & Media

Caroline Bannock is The Guardian’s editor for community, overseeing participatory journalism with readers. Prior this she launched GuardianWitness, the Guardian’s award-winning open journalism platform, where readers from around the world submit videos, images and stories directly to Guardian journalists. Caroline was previously a senior news producer and acting foreign editor at Channel 4 News.

She has worked on documentaries for Channel 4 and the BBC.

After the Windrush scandal broke, the Guardian received hundreds of emails, phone calls and letters from ​people who’d been affected. Caroline worked with Amelia Gentleman, whose reporting had revealed the enormous scale of the crisis, to collate their stories and investigate the ways in which the UK government’s hostile environment policy throws lives into disarray.

Session: Windrush, what next? | The power of sharing stories in a globalised world

Mark Bassant

Mark Bassant

Investigative Journalist, CCN TV6 Trinidad

Mark Bassant has dedicated his career to journalism for more than 20 years. He obtained his BA in Journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto where he worked and studied for approximately six years. He returned home and worked at CNMG television as a Senior Crime Journalist and later joined CCN TV 6 in 2011 as a Senior Multimedia Investigative Journalist/Producer.

To date he has copped four awards at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation awards for best TV investigative report in the Caribbean region between 2011 and 2015 and also best investigative health report. He has touched on issues ranging from human trafficking to the lucrative drug trade in the region to issues of internal corruption in Trinidad and Tobago as well as the assassination of State prosecutor Dana Seetahal who was shot dead in May 2013. Revealing sensitive information about Ms Seetahal’s killing forced him to flee the country in 2014 for more than three months after receiving death threats. But he was determined to return home and later did so after the threat was some what  neutralised. Undaunted he continues to push the envelope in investigative TV journalism in his country and the Caribbean region.

Session: Never mind the platform, just keep up the standards


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Odette Campbell

Odette Campbell

Communications Specialist & Media Trainer 

Odette Campbell is a Communication Specialist and media trainer with more than 30 years of experience in broadcast journalism.

In 1987, she started at the lowest round of the ladder as a Stringer Reporter and 25 years later, she ascended to the position of Managing Director the largest media organisation in Grenada.

In the post-Hurricane Ivan period, Campbell played a pivotal role in the development and execution of a public education strategy for the National Disaster Management Agency, NADMA through a project funded by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, CDEMA.

She has served as an Adjunct Lecturer in Journalism Studies at the T.A. Marryshow Community College in Grenada andhas also facilitated training workshops in Effective Communications and Media Skills for managers of Marine Protected Areas in several Latin American and Caribbean countries.

While on sabbatical at Sussex University this past year, Campbell won acclaim for submissions which have shone a light on the plight of migrants and international students in the United Kingdom.

Session:  Windrush, what next? The power of sharing stories in a globalised world

Julie Drizin

Executive Director, Current 

Julie Drizin is the first executive director of Current, the trade publication founded in 1981 to cover and serve the public broadcasting community in the U.S. Since joining American University’s School of Communication in 2015, Julie has lead Current’s content, revenue, development and community engagement strategies. Julie previously served as Director of the Journalism Center on Children and Families at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where she taught undergraduates, advocated nationally for coverage of children, and managed the Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism. She has worked in and around public media for more than three decades, including stints with the Association of Independents in Radio, the National Center for Media Engagement, J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, WETA-FM and WXPN-FM. An award-winning producer and innovator, Julie launched two successful national programs: Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now! and NPR’s Justice Talking. She is a mom to two teenage daughters.

Session:  A different view of PSM: One nation in focus

Wesley Gibbings

Wesley Gibbings

Vice President, Media Institute of the Caribbean

Wesley Gibbings is a freelance journalist, newspaper columnist and media trainer. His journalistic work has been published widely and he has contributed to publications on the media and elections, the rights of the child, climate change and media coverage of migration in the Americas.

He has trained journalists throughout the Caribbean and worked as elections training coordinator for the Media Development Authority of Fiji in 2014.

Gibbings has also written extensively on Caribbean media affairs and freedom of expression and he has presented papers on these subjects at conferences and seminars all over the world.

He is Vice President of the Media Institute of the Caribbean, founding President of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers and a member of the Coordinating Committee of the Latin American and Caribbean Alliance of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX).

In 2017, Gibbings was recognised for his journalism and press freedom activism by the US National Association of Black Journalists and received the organisation’s Percy Qoboza Foreign Journalist Award. He is also a published poet with four collections to his name.

Session: Never mind the platform, just keep up the standards


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Dr. Zahera Harb

Trustee, Ethical Journalism Network & Senior Lecturer in International Journalism at City,  University of London

Dr. Zahera Harb is a distinguished journalist who has worked for more than 11 years as a journalist in Lebanon working for Lebanese and international news organisations. She is currently senior lecturer in International Journalism at City, University of London. Zahera has conducted journalism training across the Arab world and is the associate editor for the Journal of Media Practice. In 2015 Zahera was appointed to the committee that controls standards for television and radio programmes at the UK communications regulator Ofcom.

Zahera is also a Trustee of the Ethical Journalism Network.

Session: Never mind the platform, just keep up the standards

Louise Higgins

Chief Financial and Strategy Officer, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Louise Higgins joined the ABC as Chief Financial and Strategy Officer in February 2017 as part of the structural transformation announced by the Managing Director in March 2017. Louise oversees a broad operational portfolio including Finance, Property, Legal, Internal Audit, Capital Planning and Governance. In addition, Louise oversees Corporate Strategy as well as the team enabling the ABC’s Transformation as part of the Investing in Audience Strategy also announced in March 2017. From March to September 2017 Louise was also Acting Chief Technology Officer, overseeing the ABC’s Digital & Broadcast services.

Louise brings to the ABC expertise in Media, as well as broader commercial experience having formally been the Chief Operating Officer for Nova Entertainment overseeing the company’s revenue and content performance. Louise worked previously as an Associate Director with Macquarie Bank, and held a number of senior roles for the BBC in London. 

Louise has also held Non-Executive Director positions on both the Visit Victoria Board and Commercial Radio Australia Board.

Louise holds a Bachelor of Business (BBus) from UTS, is a Chartered Accountant with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountant (ACMA) UK, is a fellow with the Australian Institute of Company Director’s, and in 2016 completed the Advance Management Program at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University Chicago.

Session: Maintaining public trust and credibility in the digital era

Dr. Minna Aslama Horowitz

Public media academic and consultant

Minna Aslama Horowitz (Dr. Soc. Sc.) is Docent at the University of Helsinki, Fellow at St. John’s University, New York, and Expert on Advocacy and Digital Rights at the Central European University, Budapest. Former Implementation Expert at YLE, Horowitz is passionate about public service media. She researches and publishes on PSM innovation, policies, digital rights, and media activism. She is the community manager of the informal network of 250 global public service media experts.

Session: From Crises to Solutions via PSM Weekly

Session: Maintaining public trust and credibility in the digital era


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Anika Kentish

President, Association of Caribbean Media Workers

Anika Kentish currently serves as the President of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers. She has considerable experience as a journalist and media consultant. She holds a Masters of Arts in Training and Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Midwestern State University in Texas. Though she has vast experience in various media platforms, her forte is radio production. Kentish currently freelances for several regional and international news agencies including the Caribbean Media Corporation and the Associated Press.

Session: Public media and disaster preparedness

Naja Nielsen

Chief Journalism Officer, Orb Media

Naja Nielsen is the Chief Journalism Officer of Orb Media. The non-profit journalism organisation Orb Media is based in Washington but operates globally by producing eye-opening and data inspired stories on issues relevant to billions around the world. The stories are published simultaneously and globally at www.orbmedia.org and with agenda-setting and trustworthy news media through the Orb Media Network. Before joining Orb Media in 2017 Naja Nielsen was Head of News at Danish Broadcasting, Denmark. In 2014 she was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University where she studied Journalism in the Digital Age. Orb Media’s two latest stories revealed microplastic in bottled water and showed how attitudes matter in a rapidly aging world.

Session: Never mind the platform, just keep up the standards

Amanda Pitt

Chief, Strategic Communications, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Amanda Pitt oversees UNOCHA’s work in global news, public advocacy, crisis communications, reporting, visualization and analysis, and other tools, guidance and services for the field and HQ. In the United Nations she has also served as global spokesperson for the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Chief of Media Relations, and as Regional Public Information officer for Asia-Pacific, working with local, regional and international media in natural disasters and conflicts. She is a member of the UNDAC emergency response system (UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team).

“In emergencies, I have always enjoyed working with journalists to unpack how disaster operations actually work and what sort of information affected people need to hear – independently, responsibly – as much as broader public audiences or decision makers. That was especially interesting in natural disasters taking place in already complex political contexts, like Myanmar’s Cyclone Nargis, floods in DPR Korea or the Haiti earthquake.”

Amanda has long been interested in media development. She co-founded and ran the first English language weekly magazine in newly independent Ukraine – still in print and online today; and worked on a BBC World Service Trust audience project training broadcasters in Serbia & Montenegro after the war. Amanda joined us at the PMA’s (then CBA) Tonga conference in 2009 to speak on the early humanitarian impact of climate change.

Session: The role of public media in disaster preparedness


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John Paul Rodriguez

Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA)

John Paul Rodriguez is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA). He has held the post since April 2013 and provides direct support to the GRA’s CEO.  He is responsible for regulating the electronic communications sector in Gibraltar, in addition to a wide range of responsibilities across various sectors, including broadcasting.

The GRA is governed by a Board made up of five members, Mr. Rodriguez being one of the members. Before being appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Rodriguez held the post of Head of Regulation from 2006 to March 2013, overseeing the different regulatory remits of the GRA

Session: Public Media from different perspectives

Jessie Shih

Director, International Department/Documentary Platform, Public Television Service, Taiwan

Ms. Jessie Shih studied in the US for an MA degree in communication/media management, worked with both commercial and public TV stations in programme acquisition, marketing, programming, commissioning, documentary making, and international co-production for over 25 years. She is now the director of International Department/ Documentary Platformof Taiwan’s Public TV Service (PTS).

Shih has comprehensive experience in international communication and organising international Public TV events. In 2006 Shih organised the INPUT conference, which over 1400 people from international public broadcasters attended. She hosted The Asian Pitch( TAP) in 2016, a documentary making alliance between 4 Asian broadcasters NHK, PTS, KBS and MediaCorp, with dozens of filmmakers joining from across Asia.

Shih has produced or co-commissioned dozens of environmental and human interest documentaries as well as dramatic mini-series with HBO. Her productions have received many awards including those from the Berlin Film Festival, US Peabody, Cine Golden Eagle, New York Film Festival, Japan Wildlife Festival and Banff’s Rockie Awards.She is also the EP of two major documentary strands on PTS: Viewpoint and Thematic Nights.

In addition, Shih founded one and biggest children’s film festivals, the biennial Taiwan International Children TV and Film Festival in 2004 and hosted the 8thedition in 2018. Each year, over 200,000 young kids and adults have participated and screened quality films from over all the world with some becoming directors themselves.

Session: Maintaining public trust and credibility in the digital era

Gerard Teuma

Gerard Teuma

Chief Executive Officer, Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation

Gerard Teuma was appointed Chief Executive of the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation in 2012 after seven years as Head of Radio Gibraltar. He started his career with GBC in 1984 as a Radio/TV Presenter and later as a Senior Broadcast Journalist.

During his over 30 year-long career with the Corporation, Gerard became a household name in Gibraltar presenting various shows on Radio Gibraltar and anchoring GBC TV’s nightly news bulletin, Newswatch, as well as debate programmes and numerous major broadcasts, such as General and European Elections.  He also revived the broadcaster’s charity initiative, ‘GBC Open Day’, in the late 80s, for it to become the territory’s foremost charitable organisation, having raised more than £2.5 million for local deserving causes since then.

As CEO, and having negotiated improved Government funding for the Corporation, Gerard spearheaded and oversaw the relaunch of GBC TV for it to now provide a wide-ranging selection of locally produced and imported programmes, including GBC’s first ever local commissions from independents.  His current focus is on the relocation in late 2019 of GBC to a new media centre that is currently being constructed.

Gerard Teuma has served as a Board Member of Public Media Alliance since 2016.

Session: Public media from different perspectives


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Paul Thompson, RNZ

Paul Thompson

CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Radio New Zealand & President, Public Media Alliance

Paul Thompson was appointed Chief Executive and Editor- in-Chief of New Zealand’s public service broadcaster, Radio New Zealand, in September 2013.   He is an experienced journalist with an extensive background in print media and publishing.  He was Editor-in-Chief of Fairfax Media (New Zealand) from 2007to 2013 with responsibility for all Fairfax journalism in New Zealand.  Prior to this Paul had been Editor of The Press in Christchurch and has previously worked as a reporter, sub-editor and newsroom executive in several New Zealand and UK publications.

In September 2016 he was elected President of the international Public Media Alliance formerly known as the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association.

Session: Global Keynote | Public Service Media

Session: Maintaining public trust and credibility in the digital era

Fran Unsworth

Fran Unsworth

Director of News & Current Affairs, BBC

Francesca Unsworth became Director of News and Current Affairs in January 2018.

She was previously Director of the BBC World Service Group, a post to which she was appointed in December 2014.
In this role she led the BBC’s global news services – BBC World Service, BBC World News and BBC.com – as well as BBC Monitoring, and she chaired the BBC’s international development charity, BBC Media Action. The BBC’s global news services have a weekly audience of 346m. In this role, Fran was also deputy to the Director of News and Current Affairs.

Fran began her journalistic career in 1980 in BBC Local Radio, joining Radio 1’s Newsbeat. She spent some time as a network radio producer in Washington DC, and later joined Radio 4’s The World At One and PM.

Fran was appointed the BBC’s Home News Editor and then, in 2001, Head of Political Programmes. In 2005 she became Head of Newsgathering, running one of the world’s largest newsgathering operations with bureaux across the world.

Between November 2012 and August 2013 Fran was the BBC’s Acting Director of News and Current Affairs. Prior to her appointment to the World Service Group, she was Deputy Director of BBC News and Current Affairs.

Source: BBC

Session: Never mind the platform, just keep up the standards


Register your attendance for this year’s conference