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NEWS | Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Macdonald di-ves out of The Times

Charlot Zahra

After the departure of former Sunday Times deputy editor Malcolm J. Naudi five months ago, who left at the end of last year after being sidelined as a correspondent at The Times’ business section last August, it was the turn of Vanessa Macdonald, his former editor there, to leave the paper.
Macdonald, who had been at Allied Newspapers for the past 13 years, including seven years as news editor at The Times, moved to di-ve.com, owned by telecoms group GO, where she was appointed editor of the news portal as of Thursday, 15 May.
Only last February, di-ve.com was in the news after GO management muzzled all political coverage on the news portal in the midst of the electoral campaign, drawing the ire of the two journalists’ organisations in Malta.
This is the first time a journalist has taken over as di-ve.com editor. Ever since its inception in 2000, a senior management figure was di-ve editor.
Since 2001, the journalistic management of the news portal was entrusted to the hands of news editor Paul Cachia, who will retain his post regardless of Macdonald’s arrival.
“I have worked on radio, television and print media and when the chance came to work on internet, it was too tempting an opportunity to pass up,” Macdonald said when asked to comment about her move after such a long stay at The Times.
“People do not want to wait to get their news on the hour or in the evening, let alone the following day. Internet means that they get news when they want it, and can go back time and again during the day for updates. The Internet is such an exciting medium because you can have text, numerous photos, as well as sound and video.
“There were many times when I was interviewing someone that I thought how wonderful it would be for people to be able to listen in as the pauses and body language convey much more than the words alone can.”
Macdonald indicated that her appointment will not lead to any excessive jolts at the news portal, at least for now. “di-ve is Malta’s leading portal and has a loyal following of 33,000 unique visitors a day. I am honoured that the GO board felt that my addition to the team led by Paul Cachia will help to make this site the preferred news source for the islands.”
Macdonald said it was “obviously very difficult” to leave The Times. “You make a lot of friends in 13 years but the time does come to move on. I am very proud of all I achieved there, both as news editor and correspondent and then editor of the Times Business,” the senior journalist told MaltaToday.

czahra@mediatoday.com.mt



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