John Paton appointed Chairman of Independent Digital News and Media

Business, People

Independent Digital News and Media Limited has appointed John Paton as Chairman. The appointment is effective immediately.

Paton joins from The Guardian Media Group PLC, where he served as director for the past six years, as well as two years as chairman of – the US-based charity which raises funds for independent and investigative journalism for The Guardian and its editorial partners.


In addition to The Guardian, Paton has significant experience as a media executive and investor and is co-founder of media advisory and tech investment firm IVA Ventures. Starting his career as a journalist, he has led media companies in the United States, Canada and Europe, ranging from less than $20 million in revenues to more than $1.2 billion and from 100 employees to 10,000 employees.

He is the founder and former CEO of Digital First Media, the then number two newspaper company in the US, and co-founder and ex-CEO of impreMedia, the then largest Hispanic news company in the US. He has served as a director of public and private media companies across the world.

He has been a strong advocate of the digital transformation of quality journalism, with a deep understanding of the opportunities available to media firms today. In 2009, he was awarded Publisher of the Year in the US by Editor & Publisher for his digital transformation efforts and has been named a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young in New York City.

“I am honoured to join The Independent with its commitment to best-in-class journalism,” said John Paton. “I share that commitment. I am very excited to work with the team to rapidly expand the first truly independent, digital pure-play quality journalism company in the world.”

Outgoing chairman, Justin Byam Shaw, who will remain on the IDNML board, said:

The Independent has become a unique, global success story. It combines high revenue growth and profitability with a 35 year reputation for high quality, independent journalism around the world. In John, we have appointed a robustly independent Chairman, who shares The Independent’s values and, with his vast experience of digital media, will guide its continuing global growth.

Since going digital only in 2016, The Independent has grown its audience to 89.9 million global browsers (Adobe Omniture).