The Londoner: Corbyn critic Ruth Smeeth is freedom of speech CEO (Evening Standard)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]CEO of Index on Censorship Ruth Smeeth speaks to the Evening Standard about her appointment to the role and the importance of freedom of speech in today’s fractured society.

“You have the right to hold and espouse vile views, but you don’t have the right to incite violence,” Smeeth said.

“There has been too much hate recently. People have the right to hate but they need to think about what it’s doing to society.”

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Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg to step down in 2020

Jodie Ginsberg to join Internews Europe as CEO

Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg will step down in early 2020 after five and a half years in the role, Index said on Wednesday. The board, chaired by Trevor Phillips since 2018, will launch the search for a new chief executive shortly.

Since joining in 2014, Jodie has re-established Index’s credentials as one of the preeminent advocates for freedom of expression worldwide. Innovations at Index under her tenure include the development of Mapping Media Freedom, an extensive new media monitoring project; the launch of Free Speech is For Me, a US and UK scheme to create new on-campus champions for free speech; and the establishment of a fundraising arm in the United States. Index is also playing a significant role as a thought leader in the digital space, particularly in debates around online content.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to lead Index for the past half decade,” Jodie Ginsberg said. “When I first took on this role, people asked me why we still needed to defend free speech. Having watched threats to journalists, activists and online speech rise globally in the past five years – and especially in supposedly democratic countries – I am no longer asked that question. I am proud to have helped lead the fight back against rising censorship.”

Before joining Index, Jodie worked for more than a decade as a journalist for Thomson Reuters where she led the UK bureau for several years. She leaves Index to join Internews Europe as CEO.

Trevor Phillips OBE, chair of Index on Censorship, said:

“Jodie has brought stability and focus to Index; and she has established our voice as both distinct and significant. She leaves us with a dedicated and committed team, and the foundations for a strong future.”

David Aaronovitch, chair of Index on Censorship 2013 – 2018, said:

“Jodie has been an inspirational and eloquent champion of free expression at Index. She understood from the earliest moment that this was a unique organisation that wouldn’t compromise in championing the right of journalists, artists and other citizens to say what they wanted and needed to say. It was a pleasure to work alongside her.”

Index on Censorship, founded in 1972, is one of the world’s leading free speech organisations, publishing work by censored writers and artists in its award-winning magazine and celebrating those who tackle censorship through its annual Freedom of Expression Awards. Current and previous contributors, patrons and supporters include Margaret Atwood, Nadine Gordimer, Vaclav Havel, and Elif Shafak.