Alison Bethel-McKenzie

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Alison Bethel McKenzie (born January 12, 1966) is an American-born journalist and editor.


Alison Bethel was born January 12, 1966. On March 19, 2018 Bethel McKenzie becomes the first African American to serve as Society of Professional Journalism’s executive director.[1] Alison Bethel-McKenzie was previously the executive director of the International Press Institute (IPI)[2] and the first American, first woman and first African American[3] to reach this position since its foundation in 1950. She has over 25 years experience in journalism, as a reporter, bureau chief, senior editor and trainer,[4] and is often cited in discussions about press freedom.[5] She has been a guest lecturer or visiting professor at African University College of Communications (Lagos, Nigeria), College of the City of Vienna, Colleges throughout India, including in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, Howard University (Washington, D.C.), International Academy of Journalism (Hamburg, Germany), Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Nigeria Institute of Journalism, Pennsylvania State University, State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz, U.S. Embassies in Ghana, Zambia and Austria, University of Maryland, University of The Bahamas and Indian Institute of Journalism New Media (IIJNM).[6] She has twice sponsored the Sadiq Press Freedom Award,[7] conferred each World Press Freedom Day, on May 3, 2015 and May 3, 2017 by the Rural Media Network Pakistan. She was a reporter at the now defunct The State-Times in Baton Rouge, La from 1988-1990. She was a Reporter at the Times Herald-Record in Newburgh, N.Y. from 1990-1992 and Assistant Business Editor for The Poughkeepsie Journal from 1992-1993. From 1993–1995 she was the Day City Editor for The Detroit News. From 1995-2000 she was senior assistant city editor at The Boston Globe, supervising a reporting staff that covered City Hall, urban affairs, and transportation. In 2000, she joined The Detroit News as features editor, and then became the paper’s Washington, D.C.. bureau chief from 2001 to 2006, overseeing coverage of the White House and members of Michigan’s congressional delegation. She joined the Legal Times in Washington, D.C. in 2006 as executive editor, moving on in 2007 to the Nassau Guardian, in the Bahamas, as managing editor.

Countries visited by Bethel.

Before joining the International Press Institute (IPI) in August 2009, she spent a year in Accra, Ghana, for the Washington, D.C.-based International Center for Journalists a Knight International Journalism Fellow,[8] helping Ghanaian journalists improve their reporting skills in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election.

From 2010 to 2015, Bethel-McKenzie served as executive director of the International Press Institute [9] in Vienna, Austria. Before her departure from IPI at the end of 2015, Alison oversaw IPI’s strategic vision and was responsible for the overall leadership of the staff in the implementation of IPI’s goals, the overall administration and development of the organization and its press freedom activities, and the financial management of IPI.[9] She is also on the Advisory Board of the Center for International Media Ethics.


  1. ^ Mark K., Miller (2018-02-26). "Bethel McKenzie Named SPJ Executive Director". TV News Check. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  2. ^ IPIatFreemedia (2012-05-03), Message from IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie on World Press Freedom Day 2012, retrieved 2017-08-12
  3. ^ "The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper (2011-06-26), Alison Bethel-McKenzie She is woman". Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  4. ^ "Alison Bethel McKenzie". Retrieved 2017-08-12.
  5. ^ U.S. Consulate General Chennai (2017-05-05), World Press Freedom Day: Stop Online Harassment, retrieved 2017-08-12
  6. ^ "IIJNM Prospectus 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-08-12.
  7. ^ "RMNP Confers 2017 Sadiq Press Freedom Award Posthumously on journalist Gulzar Ahmed Chaudhry". Retrieved 2017-08-12.
  8. ^ "Free and Fair: A Journalist's Guide to Improved Election Reporting in Ghana - English | ICFJ - International Center for Journalists". Retrieved 2017-08-12.
  9. ^ a b "Globewriter (2013-04-30), Alison Bethel McKenzie - IPI". Retrieved 2017-08-12.