AP veteran appointed Thomson Foundation chief executive

The Thomson Media Foundation has appointed Associated Press veteran Nigel Baker as its new chief executive.

Thomson said that Baker, AP’s vice-president of business operations for EMEA and Asia, will bring a ‘mix of world-class commercial and journalism skills in the news business” to the Cardiff-based charity, which provides training and development advice to media companies in the developing world.

Baker was a driving force behind AP’s international television wing Association Press Television News, serving as head of news, director of content and managing director before taking over his current role in 2008.

His career has also included spells with with ITN, Reuters and Sky News.

The chairman of the trustees of the Thomson Media Foundation, Lord Fowler, said: ‘We are very fortunate to have found someone with such powerful media experience. Nigel will have a crucial role in developing the foundation as we come up to our 50th anniversary.”

Baker added: ‘There has never been a more demanding, or challenging time, for the international news industry – whether it is looking for leadership in basic journalism skills, ethics, media convergence or new business models The Thomson Media Foundation has a growing role to play in helping the industry make sense of a rapidly changing landscape.”

Meanwhile, the charity is currently helping to establish a code of conduct for the media in Tunisia in the run up to its first free elections. Former ITN News correspondent and now senior consultant Eric MacInnes has been leading the work in Tunisia alongside veteran ITN political correspondent Mark Webster.

MacInnes told Press Gazette: ‘This has been a very exciting and sometimes worryingly difficult task but we now feel that we are beginning to make headway.

‘It is gratifying too to see the passion that journalists here are showing for the idea of cleaning up their industry and committing themselves to decency and fairness – the irony of what is happening back home is not lost on us or them.

‘Thomson Media Foundation’s Chairman Lord Fowler has always been fond of saying we stand for the promotion of ‘good, honest journalism’ across the world through training and development. It’s great that we are involved in doing just that here in Tunisia – a country that understands only too well the corruption between politics, police and the media.”

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