RIYADH: The new board of directors of the Saudi Journalists’ Association (SJA) held its first meeting after the elections at the SJA headquarters in Riyadh.
Turki Al-Sudairi was elected chairman of the SJA; Dr. Hashem Abdo Hashem vice chairman; Eid Al Thaqil finance secretary and Nawal Al Rashid, secretary of the board. The board consists of 12 members.
The new board of directors of the SJA was elected after a successful polling process where some 440 journalists chose the board of directors. The contestants were 17 full-time media men and women.
Turki Al-Sudairi ranked first with the majority of ballots for the third time bagging 237 votes.
In second place came the chief editor of Okaz Dr. Hashem Abdo Hashem with 181 votes, followed by Dr. Abdullah Al Jahlan, chief editor of Al Yamamah magazine who came third with 153 votes; Talal Al-Sheikh, chief editor of Al Watan newspaper was placed in the fourth position with 141 votes; Dr. Fahad Al Akran, chief editor of Al Madinah was placed in fifth position with 133 votes; Qinan Abdullah Al-Ghamdi came sixth with 129 votes; Nawal Al-Rashed got 127 votes; Eid Al Thaqil managing editor of Al Eqtisadiah got 123 votes; Ahmed Fuhaid from Al Hayat got 123 votes; Muhammad Al Waiyel received 118 votes; Ebtehaj Miniawy, 115 votes; Al Shahry and Nasser, managing editor of Al Bilad newspaper bagged 76 votes each.
Al-Sudairi in his speech at the SJA meeting said: “The convening of the general assembly and holding of elections is very important, especially since it is related to full-time journalists.” He pointed out that the task of the SJA is to support the press and journalists.
Dr. Abdullah Al Jahlan, board member and secretary general of SJA said the election evoked great response from media-persons and 440 journalists from Saudi newspapers took part in the voting process for the selection of board members in a very organized way.
The 440 journalists, who took part in the voting process, were optimistic the new leaders will meet their aspirations and expectations.
Managing editor of the women’s section in Al-Riyadh newspaper Nawal Al-Rashed said she wished to be the voice of the Saudi press and an active member in the SJA.
She stressed that the SJA has ushered in a new era that is bound to satisfy everyone.
Al Rashed said that her participation in the session before the previous one gave her enough experience to avoid what happened in the first session. She said she will be keen to develop further training courses and that there will be cooperation between the SJA and sectors of press in the Gulf and Arab countries.
The involvement of a number of chief editors in the electoral process shows the importance of the elections.
Ebtehaj Miniawy, managing editor of women’s department at Al Madinah newspaper said the SJA since its inception in 2004 motivated her.
Thoraya Abid Sheikh from the Association of Human Rights said the role of the organization was limited to confirming the identity of the candidates and to check their credibility and integrity.