The Institute’s founding came about from an initiative by former newspaper editor Gobind Rudra who circulated a proposal and outline working paper among fellow journalists.
Discussions within the community culminated in the presentation of the proposal to a gathering of almost 80 journalists at the National Press Club on 3rd May 2012, World Press Freedom Day, where a resolution to found the Institute was adopted unanimously.
The Institute was incorporated on 5th April 2013 with the registration number 1041328-V.
The founding Board of Governors comprises:
- Encik Jahabar Sadiq, editor and chief executive of the Malaysian Insider
- Mr Yamin Vong, editor-publisher of NST-Cars, Bikes & Trucks
They were among a small group of journalists involved in the early stages of setting up the Institute and agreed to serve as founding Governors of record until an elected Board of Governors took office.
They retired from the Board at the inaugural Annual General Meeting held on 26th September 2014 at Commonwealth House, the Royal Commonwealth Society, Kuala Lumpur, at which the first fully-elected Board assumed office to take charge of the Institute.
The Institute is managed by a Board of Governors elected from among Ordinary and Freelance members. The Board comprises members elected in the ratio 2:2:2:1 from among journalists in newspapers; broadcasting; online media; and periodicals, freelance & others.
Members of the Board elect a chairman from among themselves. There are no elective positions in the Institute.
The constitution of the Institute enjoins the Board to ensure fair representation of journalists from the various sectors of the profession. Membership of the Board may not be dominated by members from any one media stream, or from any one language stream. In practical terms it means the Board cannot comprise members who are all from newspapers or all from online media, or all from the Malay, English, Chinese, or Tamil media.
Members of the Board are elected for a three-year term. Each member may serve only two terms. To ensure that the Board is refreshed, one-third of the Board retires each year. An election must thus be held at every annual general meeting to replace one-third of the Board.
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