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Somayya JabartiThe Saudi Gazette, a national daily has appointed Saudi Arabia’s first woman editor-in-chief, in what clearly is a ‘historic’ move in the conservative kingdom.

Somayya Jabarti takes the reins of the English-language newspaper from Khaled Almaeena, who becomes editor-at-large .

Jabarti, previously deputy editor of the  Saudi Gazette becomes the first female editor of a national newspaper although women have led magazines in the kingdom.

“There’s a crack that has been made in the glass ceiling. And I’m hoping it will be made into a door,” she told al Arabiya News.

“Being the first Saudi woman [newspaper editor] is going to be double the responsibility… One’s actions will reflect upon my fellow Saudi women,” she said.

Jabarti said that she has never encountered any sexism in the media house: “The majority of our reporters are women – not because we are biased and choosing women over men. There are more women who are interested in being journalists, and who are journalists.”

The former editor-in-chief Almaeen said “She’s the first editor-in-chief of a Saudi paper – English or Arabic-language. In Saudi Arabia it’s a major achievement.”

saudi gazette

In good hands

Almaeena told  Arabiya News  in an article titled ” I was determined to have it our way” :”Today I proudly leave my nominee, a female journalist — Somayya Jabarti — who will take the helm of the paper. She has been associated with me for almost 13 years and I’ve had the goal almost as long of wanting to see a Saudi woman enter the male-dominated bastion of editors-in-chief. It was not a question of gender but of merit that decided and earned her this opportunity. I am proud to have played a role in her career. She is determined and dedicated, and I can assure her and the team that I will be there to assist and advise so that the Saudi Gazette further advances as a media unit in a highly competitive and digital age.

 

 

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