Australian Press Council executive director John Pender departs

The Australian Press Council executive director John Pender has stepped-down after seven years in the role.

A recruitment process is underway to appoint a new executive director and pending this appointment Paul Nangle, director of complaints, will be the acting executive director.

The Australian Press Council has farewelled executive director John Pender. (pictured)

Press council chair, Neville Stevens, said of Pender’s departure: “He has provided invaluable guidance and wisdom to three Council Chairs and to Council members more generally. His knowledge and expertise have underpinned Council operations over this period, and he has provided necessary stability in challenging times.”

Two more public members of the Press Council are also stepping down, Andrew Podger, AO, and Zione Walker-Nthenda.

Stevens said of their exit: “They have each played an important part in progressing the Press Council’s work of upholding high editorial standards and freedom of expression at a time of great change in Australia’s media landscape.”

He added that: “Public members play a major leadership and governance role in the operations of the Australian Press Council.

“They bring a diversity of thought and an appreciation of contemporary social issues and community to Council activities and in conjunction with community representatives on adjudication panels provide independent assessment of material published by publisher members against the Press Council’s Standards of Practice.”

The Press Council will shortly be advertising for public and independent journalist members to serve on its governing Council and on adjudication panels.

The Australian Press Council was established in 1976 and is responsible for promoting high standards of media practice, community access to information of public interest and freedom of expression through the media.

Press Council members include many of Australia’s major newspaper, magazine and online publishers. These publishers agree to comply with the council’s binding standards of practice. When complaints about these members are made to the council, the material is evaluated against these standards by the council’s adjudication panels, which are independent of publishers.


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