Vienna (June 27, 2013) — Missouri School of Journalism Professor Marty Steffens is one of two distinguished scholars and accomplished journalists appointed to the North American Committee (NAC) board of the International Press Institute (IPI).
IPI also appointed Mercedes Vigón, associate director of the International Media Center at Florida International University. The two will join eight other members on the NAC board, one of whom is Stuart Loory, professor emeritus at Missouri and former CNN vice president.
“These two exceptional journalists and educators will add depth and reach to the IPI North American Committee’s board,” said John Yearwood, North American Committee chair, newly elected vice chair of IPI’s executive board, and world editor of The Miami Herald. “I’m incredibly honored to have them as part of the NAC’s leadership team.”
The NAC is a national committee of the Vienna-based IPI, a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists dedicated to the furthering and safeguarding of press freedom, protecting freedom of opinion and expression, promoting the free flow of news and information, and improving the practice of journalism. IPI was founded at Columbia University in New York in 1950. It has members from more than 120 countries.
The NAC is among the oldest and most influential of IPI’s 21 national committees. It covers the United States and Canada. IPI also has national committees in Austria, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Nigeria, Slovakia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Germany, India, Taiwan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.
Steffens teaches business and financial journalism at the School of Journalism where she is the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) endowed chair. She also organizes seminars for business journalism professionals. Steffens assumed the chair in 2002 after a 30-year career in newspapers, including service as executive editor of The San Francisco Examiner and, earlier, The Press & Sun Bulletin in Binghamton, N.Y.
Steffens has been active in planning IPI events. In 2011, she organized a workshop for Asian business journalists in conjunction with the IPI World Congress in Taiwan and was also editor of the 2011 PI Report: Money and Media. Steffens also led a workshop on social media for the 2013 World Congress just concluded in May in Amman, Jordan. She also edited the 2013 IPI Report: Reflections on the Arab Spring.
She has a long history of training international journalists including conducting training for Middle East journalists in covering elections, training Macedonian business journalists, and conducting the first-ever training sessions for women journalists in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In 2004, Steffens was a visiting professor at Moscow State University in Russia, capping several years of training journalists in that country.
“The North American Committee will continue to be vigilant to make sure press freedom is upheld in our region as well,” Steffens said. “Recent events reaffirm that even in the U.S. the press has restrictions. We are already beginning to plan an event for this winter to assist Caribbean journalists in understanding how to remain a watchdog of business and politics.”
IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie said they are thrilled to have such talented and enthusiastic individuals as Steffens and Vigón join the NAC board.
“They will strengthen the committee’s activities throughout North America as well as Latin America and the Caribbean, just as they have done through their engagement with the secretariat over the past year,” McKenzie said.
Updated: July 17, 2020