Officials at Ecumenical News International (ENInews) in Geneva have announced the appointment of veteran North American journalist Solange De Santis as interim editor of the news agency while a search is launched for a new editor who will oversee the operation for the remainder of 2011.
De Santis was most recently editor of Episcopal Life Media in New York, where she resides. Prior to that, she was based in Toronto where she was a staff writer at the Anglican Journal newspaper and the Wall Street Journal, as well as Canada news editor of Reuters.
A process to restructure ENInews began earlier in 2010 after its main financial contributor, the World Council of Churches, more than halved its contribution for 2011. The restructuring process eventually triggered the resignation of ENInews’s president and treasurer on Dec. 8. The services of long-time editors Peter Kenny and Stephen Brown were terminated on Jan. 1.
ENInews received the “Best in Class” award for religious news services last year from the Associated Church Press, the oldest and largest religious press association in North America.
In a press release dated Jan. 5, ENInews Vice-President Michel Kocher and Publisher David Harris said “a special group, mandated by the executive of Ecumenical News International, has worked hard to create a plan for the continuation of ENInews. The agency will now focus on its core business as an ‘independent global news agency targeting secular and church media by generating and distributing news about churches and the Christian witness in the world and its intersection with other faith communities.’”
The other three funders of ENInews — the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the Conference European Churches, have confirmed their financial contribution for 2011 with no cuts.
Kocher and Harris said “local reporting will remain the cornerstone of ENInews, and the organization will work to enhance professional development for its correspondents. ENInews relies for its coverage on 50 correspondents scattered throughout the world.
In May, long-term directions for ENInews will be presented to the governing body, Kocher and Harris said. “The partner organizations of ENInews are convinced of the importance of maintaining ENInews and are doing all in their power to ensure the service continues.”