A South Africa Muslim journalist has been elected the 35th chairperson of the International Press Institute, the world’s oldest media watchdog.
Khadija Patel, an investigative journalist and fourth-generation Muslim of Asian background, became the first woman, first non-European/American and first Muslim to ever become chair of the prestigious organization, Independent Online reported.
On her appointment, Patel said that she is honored to be entrusted with the position.
“The IPI is a cherished institution and is best placed to bring together the diversity of our industry to forge ahead during a period of significant upheaval,” she said.
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IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi praised the election of Patel, and said that they are thrilled to welcome her as the new board chair and look forward to working with her.
“We are greatly looking forward to working with her to address the challenges facing independent journalism across the globe. It is no surprise that Khadija earned the trust of her fellow board members to take over the chair position, and her deep experience as a journalist and editor makes her perfectly suited to this role.”
Patel was editor in chief of South African’s Mail & Guardian and is now active in supporting young journalists in her position as head of programs for South Africa’s International Fund for Public Interest Media.
She has previously been described as a “fearless journalist” by former US President Barack Obama.
Khadija has worked as an investigate journalist for South African news agencies the Daily Maverick and City Press. She has also worked for Sky News, BBC News, Quartz, Al Jazeera and The Guardian.
In 2017, Khadija was also among the top 100 New Africa Magazine list of most influential people in Africa. She also received the Ford Foundation inaugural Africa #NoFilter.