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Sweden’s Bengt Ottosson and Australia’s Robert Whitehead
Sweden’s Bengt Ottosson and Australia’s Robert Whitehead

Sweden’s Bengt Ottosson and Australia’s Robert Whitehead were presented the 2015 Silver Shovel Awards tonight by the International News Media Association (INMA) for lifetime achievement and contributions to INMA. 

The awards were presented Tuesday evening before nearly 300 international media executives at the INMA Awards Dinner in Times Square’s Edison Ballroom. 

The long-time CEO of Swedish popular daily newspaper, Expressen, Ottosson was cited by INMA President Yasmin Namini “for a career dedicated to mentoring and for unselfish dedication to the media industry” in presenting the Silver Shovel Award, INMA’s highest individual honour. 

A past president of the Swedish Media Publishers Association (TU), Ottosson has served on the INMA Board of Directors since 2009 and has helped grow the association’s membership and conference participation in Sweden.

Ottosson joined Expressen in 1994, became CEO in 2001, and stepped down in late 2014. Today, Ottosson serves on a number of media industry boards in Sweden. 

Australia’s Whitehead was cited by incoming INMA President Mark Challinor “for a career of great achievement and outstanding contributions to INMA.”

Challinor described Whitehead as a leader in Board meetings and the quintessential volunteer for conference moderation, presentations, reports, committees, and more. Whitehead first joined the INMA Board of Directors in 2006. 

Whitehead’s career is unique in the diverse roles he played at Fairfax Media in Australia. His resumé includes stints in operations and production for Fairfax, editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, and various marketing and sales roles at Fairfax and the Herald. 

Today a self-described “self-employed disruptionist,” Whitehead serves as a member of the board for McPherson Media Group.

Whitehead also served as president of the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association (PANPA) from 2005 to 2009 and was a co-creator and board member of The Newspaper Works.

The INMA Silver Shovel Award has been presented since 1949 for meritorious service to INMA and a lifetime of career achievement.