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Wednesday 20.02.2019 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris

A photographer has been appointed as Diena’s new editor-in-chief

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Ilmars Znotins

The head of social relations of Dienas Mediji, Anna Muhka, affirmed that Ilmars Znotins (Ilmārs Znotiņš) has been appointed as the new editor-in-chief of newspaper Diena.

According to business portal Nozare.lv, up till now, the duties of editor-in-chief were fulfilled by Guntis Bojars (Guntis Bojārs).

Znotins revealed Nozare.lv that the entrepreneur Viesturs Koziols (shareholder of 51% A/S Diena shares) had invited him to fill the position.

The new editor-in-chief is aware that, at the present moment, the newspaper faces several internal and external challenges. According to Znotins, «the external challenge is to help the society to make our country, where we were born and bred, better. While the internal one is to consolidate our team and build up the trust level of our readers. »

The new editor-in-chief did not reveal any specific plans on what will change in the newspaper, pointing out that it is teamwork. «It is not sensible for me, as a new employee, to make quick decisions, although I have previously worked in the realm of media».

The information provided by Firmas.lv indicates that Koziols and Znotins are business partners. Znotins owns 30% of shares in SIA Fotostudija Imagine (registered in 2006), while Koziols – 70%.

The equity capital of Fotostudija Imagine is 2000 lats, and four people work in this company. In year 2008 its turnover was LVL 49 600, but losses – LVL 14 400. In 2007, company’s turnover was LVL 48 300, but losses – LVL 22 200.

Znotins and some old acquaintance of Koziols, Askolds Berzins (Askolds Bērziņš), are the board members of Fotostudija Imagine. A. Berzins is also the chairman of the board.

The publicly accessible CV of Znotins shows that he had studied journalism at the University of Latvia; he later studied photojournalism in Moscow, attended various Reuter’s courses, as well as, participated in summer courses of photojournalism at the University of Maastricht.

Znotins began his career as a photographer and photo editor at the National News Agency LETA. Later on, he worked at the photo agency AFI, and at newspapers Labrīt, Diena and Republika.lv (owned by Koziols). He also worked as a photographer during the NATO Summit in Riga.

In addition, he has received several awards and diplomas, and has participated in 14 exhibitions.

As it was previously reported in press release on 5th August, the well-known entrepreneur Viesturs Koziols had purchased 51% of A/S Diena shares. 49% of A/S Diena shares remain in the ownership of the Rowland family.

At the beginning of August, Bojars dismissed the recently appointed editor-in-chief – Sergej Ancupov, as well as the editor-in-chief of news portal Diena.lv Gunita Ogrina (Gunitu Ogriņa). Ancupov’s first deputy Dzintars Zaluksnis (Dzintars Zaļūksnis) was also demoted and now takes the editor’s seat.

Ancupovs and Zaluksnis were appointed on July 12th.

Bojars justified his decision basing on the application that was filed by employees of Dienas mediji to the A/S Diena chairman of the council Janis Ogsts (Jānis Ogsts) and the chairman of the board Uldis Salmins (Uldis Salmiņš) on July 29th. In the submission, the employees, anxious about the negative impact on Diena’s brand, demanded that Ancupovs, Ogrina and Zaluksnis would be fired.

Bojars also informs that the newspaper Diena would not take any political stand till the elections. The second page of the newspaper will not be published in its traditional appearance; instead it will offer a place for viewpoint and discussions of any political party who stands in the election of Latvia’s Parliament.

As reported, significant changes in holding company Diena took place in July, creating debates in media that British Rowland family is the actual owner of the newspaper. The most often mentioned persons in relation to these talks is Ventspils mayor Aivars Lembergs, the chairman of Tautas Partija Andris Skele (Andris Šķēle), and the head of party LPP/LC Ainars Slesers (Ainārs Šlesers). However, all of them publicly denied having any connections with Diena.

Znotins graduated the faculty of Journalism at the University of Latvia, and has specialized in photojournalism at the University of Moscow; and finished various international photojournalism courses.

From 1989 to 1991, he worked at the National News Agency LETA, and was one of the founders of photo news agency AFI in 1991. From 1995 to 2006 he worked as a photo reporter at the newspaper Diena.

In 2006, Znotins started working at Koziol’s journal Republika.lv, and was employed there till the company was closed down.

Moreover, Znotins is one of the organisers of the photo campaign Viena diena Latvijā (One day in Latvia). He has also participated in many photo exhibitions in Latvia and abroad, and was a photographer and photo editor for several books; as well as, received different awards in the field of photography.


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