Agence France-Presse has appointed British journalist Phil Chetwynd to the post of Global News Director--the first time a foreign national has been named to the Agency’s top editorial position. Currently AFP’s editor-in-chief, Chetwynd will take over from Michèle Léridon, who was the first woman to lead AFP’s news department.
Chetwynd joined AFP in 1996 after three years in British regional newspapers and has since been posted in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. He reported as a special correspondent from some 20 countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel and the United States in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He was also AFP's deputy bureau chief in China.
Between 2002 and 2012, he was based in Hong Kong first as news editor and then chief editor for the Asia-Pacific region where he helped set up AFP's first multimedia integrated newsroom and played a major role in launching the video service in Asia.
Since 2012, he has been based in Paris as editor-in-chief overseeing the day-to-day output of the Agency’s global network of journalists. He has played a key role in the multimedia transformation of the agency including notably through the creation of chief editor teams bringing together text, photo, video and social media journalists. In this role, he has also been involved in managing structural changes across the newsroom and in discussions on key issues affecting the media business and journalism profession.
Chetwynd, who grew up in South Africa and the United Kingdom, studied languages and literature at Bristol University before completing post-graduate journalism studies at the University of Wales in Cardiff.