Thailand: Respected Bangladeshi journalist Mahfuz Anam, who is the editor and publisher of Bangladesh’s largest selling English daily – The Daily Star – has been elected Asia News Network’s (ANN) next Chairman.

The 72-year-old journalist takes over from outgoing Chairman Warren Fernandez, on January 1, 2022, for a two-year term. This will be Mr Anam’s second stint as Chairman of the alliance. Mr Anam was first appointed ANN Chairman in 2007.

Mr Anam was nominated by Mr Fernandez, the editor-in-chief of The Straits Times and the English/Malay/Tamil Media Group of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Media, and unanimously elected by the ANN Board. The regional alliance is a grouping of 23 leading Asian news titles, which was founded in 1999.

Mr Anam started his journalism career in 1972 and brings with him several decades of experience as a media and communication specialist to lead the regional alliance. After working in the United Nations for 14 years, he co-founded The Daily Star newspaper in 1991, as Bangladesh was transitioning to a democracy. His editorial direction and commentaries on the country’s socio-political issues saw the paper fast rising to be the most-read English daily in the country. A pro-democracy advocate, Mr Anam, found himself being sued in court for his criticism of the country’s two largest parties. But he dismisses the charges as attacks on press freedom.

ANN aims to establish a global footprint as Asia’s most authoritative media voice and work to bring Asia closer through editorial collaboration. It was set up to promote Asian journalism and share the story of an Asian century from an Asian perspective.

Said Mr Anam: “ANN aims to tell the world how Asia is forging ahead in this complex and ever-changing world and share knowledge and experience to build a better future.”

Said Mr Fernandez: “It has taken us some time, but now that we have established the ANN on a proper legal and financial footing, it is time to pass on the chairmanship, in the interest of good governance. In Mahfuz, we have a wise and respected media veteran, a founding member of the ANN Board. There are few who have both his breadth of experience, and sense of strong commitment to regional collaboration, to take on the challenge of leading ANN, and bringing it forward, at this critical time.”