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.
Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive of Index on Censorship, wrote an opinion piece for Big Issue North:
“Free speech” has become something of a dirty word in recent years. While most people like to say they are in favour of free speech, when you drill down into the areas where speech should be curtailed, it is apparent that views on where the lines should be and are drawn differ widely. And it is in debates about those lines that a gap has opened up in the defence of free speech, into which the far right has gleefully stepped.
“Free speech” is now the rallying cry for those who want to defend bigoted and hateful views, and who want to defend the right to use terms like “cockroach” and “vermin”, while also denying the rights of those they denigrate to speak in their defence. And as free speech becomes increasingly linked with those who espouse intolerance and division, so free speech as a universal value becomes tarnished.
This has meant in turn that those who would have traditionally championed free speech have become increasingly willing to tolerate or even advocate censorship as a social good. But censorship is never a social good. Whether imposed by states, big business, or the mob, censorship always ends up targeting those who are already oppressed and marginalised…
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg chairs a panel including Elizabeth Denham, information commissioner, John Battle, head of compliance, ITN, John Whittingdale MP and Martin Breen, Sunday Life editor (Northern Ireland) to debate challenges to media freedom.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”109696″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]Now in its ninth year, the Power of Print seminar attracts 200 leaders from the print, paper, publishing, packaging and media industries. Hear from a diverse range of global experts, including Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg, exploring the challenges, innovations and opportunities for print and paper in today’s multi-media world.
Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy
Ryan Battles and Zoë Francis-Cox, Archant Dialogue
Carl Kirby & Lauren Sutton, Waitrose
Juan Señor, President, Innovation
Mark Maslin, Professor of Climatology, UCL
Jodie Ginsberg, CEO, Index on Censorship
Rachel Aldighieri, Managing Director, Data & Marketing Association
Nick Vale, Worldwide Head of Creative Strategy, Wavemaker
Edwin Goffard, COO, Smurfit Kappa Corrugated Europe
Charles Jarrold, CEO, BPIF
Ted Young, Editor, Metro
Jonathan Tame, Two Sides Europe[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]