Roula Khalaf is set to be the first female editor of Financial Times, in the paper’s 113-year-old history. Khalaf will be replacing Lionel Barber, Britains’s senior-most financial journalist who has decided to vacate his seat.

Expressing her excitement on being appointed as the editor of FT, Khalaf said to BBC, “I am thrilled to be running the greatest news organisation in the world.” As reported by the Reuters, she said, “I look forward to building on Lionel Barber’s extraordinary achievements.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Roula Khalaf is set to be the first female editor at the Financial Times.
  • Roula Khalaf has been working at FT for 24 years, and was the deputy editor (since 2016) before being chosen to edit it.
  • Khalaf has served as deputy editor, Middle East editor and foreign editor.
  • She will be succeeding Lionel Barber, who is the longest-serving editor of a UK national newspaper. 

Roula Khalaf’s career and achievements

I am thrilled to be running the greatest news organisation in the world. I look forward to building on Lionel Barber’s extraordinary achievement. – Roula Khalaf

Until the turn of events, Khalaf was serving as the deputy editor at FT since 2016 with Barber as the chief editor. However, she has been a part of FT for 24 years. Throughout her tenure at the salmon-pink newspaper, she has served as deputy editor, Middle East editor and foreign editor. As the deputy editor, she supervised the strategic planning and launch of ‘Trade Secrets ’that covered the global trade. She managed FT’s Middle East coverage during the Iraq War and 2011 Arab Springs. Besides, she has also actively advocated increased gender diversity in the newsroom and has been encouraging more women to join journalism.

Also Read: Name And Shame: Right Way To Boost Gender Diversity?

Originally from Lebanon, Khalaf graduated from Syracuse University and pursued her master’s degree at Columbia University. Before joining FT in 1995, she worked at Forbes where her articles won her acclaim. In fact, her articles at Forbes earned her a small role in Martin Scorsese’s film The Wolf of Wall Street.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Being chosen as the first female editor at Financial Times, Khalaf stands with Katharine Viner, the editor at The Guardian, to become one of the few women who are editing major British newspapers.

Japan’s Nikkei bought Financial Times from Pearson in the year 2015. According to Reuters, Tsuneo Kita, the chairman of Japan’s Nikkei said in a statement, “Khalaf was chosen for her sound judgment and integrity. We look forward to working closely with her to deepen our global media alliance.” He also said to BBC, “ I have full confidence that she will continue the FT’s mission to deliver quality journalism without fear and without favour.”

Khalaf’s predecessor Lionel Barber has been working with Financial Times for 34 years; 14 years as the editor. He is hence the longest-serving editor of UK national newspaper. On Tuesday, Barber announced his decision of vacating the post of editor at Financial Times,  “the best job of journalism” in January.

Picture Credit: Arab News

Also Read: A small introduction to India’s first 4 women Journalists

Rudrani Kumari is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.

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