Four accomplished journalists from around the United States, including a respected newspaper publisher and a award-winning columnist, have been appointed to the board of the International Press Institute (IPI)’s North American Committee, the organization announced Friday.

The new board members are: Robert Beatty, publisher, South Florida Times; Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief, The Los Angeles Times; John Daniszewski, vice president and senior managing editor for international news, the Associated Press (AP); and Rochelle Riley, columnist, Detroit Free Press.

“These incredible journalists are among the best in the business,” John Yearwood, North American Committee Chairman and World Editor for The Miami Herald, said. “I’m thrilled that they’ve agreed to join the fight to preserve and expand press freedom in North America.”

The new board members will serve along with Stuart Loory, professor emeritus, University of Missouri and former CNN vice president; Simon Li, IPI Executive Board vice chairman and former Los Angeles Times assistant managing editor; Ryan Blethen, director of new product strategies at The Seattle Times; and Pat Smith, managing editor of Global Journalist at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The North American Committee is a national committee of IPI, a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists dedicated to the furtherance and safeguarding of press freedom, the protection of freedom of opinion and expression, the promotion of the free flow of news and information, and the improvement of the practices of journalism. Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, it was founded at Columbia University in New York in 1950.

The North American Committee is among the oldest and most influential of IPI’s national committees. It covers the United States and Canada. To date, 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 and Turkey. IPI will hold its next World Congress from May 19 to 21 in Amman, Jordan.

“The secretariat, IPI board of directors and other national committee chairs are very excited about the new additions to the North American Committee’s board of directors,” IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie said. “We are looking forward to participating in and promoting the committee’s activities throughout North America as well as Latin America and the Caribbean in the coming year.”

Riley, co-chair of the National Association of Black Journalists Global Journalism Task Force, added: “As American newspapers shrink, our goal is to encourage journalists to look to the world and its immigrants to tell their stories. I am honoured to join the global effort to ensure press freedom and to ensure that journalism survives everywhere as it is practiced now.”

Background of the new board members:

Beatty is publisher and chief executive of the South Florida Times, one of the largest African-American and Caribbean newspapers in Florida. He was previously general counsel and vice president of public affairs for The Miami Herald Media Company and served as a member and chairman of the Governor’s Financial Emergency Oversight Board for the City of Miami from 1996 to 2000. He also served for two years prosecuting major crimes in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. He has served as chairman of the board of the Beacon Council, chairman of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, president of the Greater Miami NAACP, chairman of the Miami-Dade College Board Foundation, and vice president and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

Maharaj, as editor of the Los Angeles Times Media Group, oversees the largest daily newsgathering organization in the West. It includes the flagship Los Angeles Times, the nation’s fifth-largest newspaper;, the nation’s second-largest newspaper website; LA — The Los Angeles Times Magazine; Times Community News, which consists of seven suburban daily and weekly newspapers and websites; and the Spanish-language Hoy and Fin de Semana newspapers and websites. A 24-year veteran of The Times, Maharaj was named editor in December 2011. He is a native of Trinidad and has worked as a reporter for The Times in Orange County, Los Angeles and East Africa.

Daniszewski was promoted to vice president and senior managing editor of AP in 2009, overseeing international news. Prior to that, he served as managing editor for international news and before that as AP’s international editor. Daniszewski rejoined AP in 2006 following a decade as a foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and in his 19 years abroad he has covered some of the most significant social and political changes of our time along with conflicts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for his work for The Times and he was a member of a reporting team that was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize and won an Overseas Press Club award.

Riley’s commentary on social, political and cultural issues appears in the Detroit Free Press and she appears occasionally on National Public Radio, WDET radio and local TV station WDIV-TV 4’s “Flashpoint.” as well as on radio stations in Detroit. A member of the National Association of Black Journalists, she has been a consistent advocate for improvements in race relations and the lives of children. Prior to joining the Free Press 12 years ago, her career included stints at The Dallas Morning News, The Washington Post and the Courier-Journal in Louisville, where her 1996 debut column helped spur an $80 million campaign to build the Muhammad Ali Center. Her columns about corruption scandals encircling former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick helped garner a Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting in 2009.

For more information, contact John Yearwood,, or +1-305-376-3467.


*A previous version of the headline in this story identified one of the new board members as a Pulitzer Prize winner, when the member’s work was actually part of an entry that was awarded the prize. IPI regrets the error.