Archive:Press releases/Bishakha Datta to join Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

From Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki

Indian Journalist and filmmaker Bishakha Datta joins Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

SAN FRANCISCO, April 5, 2010 -- The Wikimedia Foundation today announced that Indian journalist, filmmaker and non-profit leader Bishakha Datta has joined its Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees is the governing body that oversees the Wikimedia Foundation, the U.S.-based non-profit that operates Wikipedia.

Datta has two decades of experience as a non-profit practitioner, journalist and filmmaker, mainly in India, and has worked with organizations around the world including Kenya, Uganda, the United States, Denmark and the UK. She runs the Mumbai-based non-profit Point of View, which is dedicated to disseminating women's perspectives through media, art and culture. She is one of the seeders of the Public Access Digital Media Archive, a large open video archive founded in 2008 by Indian and German non-profits and collectives.

"India is projected to have 192 million Internet users by 2015, and we believe there is enormous potential for Wikipedia to serve all those people, whether in English or their native languages. Bishakha has tremendous experience supporting non-profit organizations around the world, particularly in India," said Michael Snow, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. "As a documentary-maker and writer, Bishakha also has a strong commitment to the values Wikipedia shares with quality journalism: the importance of neutrality, freedom from censorship, and editorial independence. I think she'll be a terrific addition to our board, and I'm delighted to have her join us."

"Wikipedia is groundbreaking in so many ways. It's an encyclopedia collaboratively created by hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the world, and has become a primary point of reference. It's a free knowledge resource, not just in English, but in so many of the languages that we speak everyday, and it's a hybrid editing model where we both produce and consume reliable, authoritative and credible information," offered Datta. "By reversing many known wisdoms, Wikipedia has given us a new paradigm for the creation of knowledge. I am truly excited to be a part of it."

In late 2010 the Wikimedia Foundation will begin implementing its new five-year plan, which will include its first-ever on-the-ground activities designed to grow readers and editors within specific geographies, including India.

Bishakha fills the Wikimedia Foundation's final Board vacant seat, and brings it to its full complement of 10 members: they are Michael Snow, Jan-Bart de Vreede, Stuart West, Kat Walsh, Bishakha Datta, Ting Chen, Matt Halprin, Samuel Klein, Arne Klempert, and Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation founder Jimmy Wales.

More information about the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 364 million unique visitors per month, making them the 5th most popular web property worldwide (January 2010). Available in more than 270 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 14 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

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