22nd May 2022

James Kanter, Shada Islam are new editors at EUobserver

  • James Kanter (right) was a correspondent for the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times in Paris and Brussels for 12 years, and founding editor of the EU Scream podcast on European politics. Shada Islam is a journalist and policy analyst
Listen to article

EUobserver has recruited James Kanter to become its next chief editor, beginning on 1 February. Shada Islam will become the editor of the EUobserver magazine.

Kanter was a correspondent for the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times in Paris and Brussels for 12 years, and he is the founding editor of the EU Scream podcast on European politics.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"I am very happy that James Kanter takes the lead as new editor-in-chief," said Lisbeth Kirk, who founded EUobserver more than two decades ago. "He will continue EUobserver's long tradition for independent and investigative EU-focused journalism.

"With Shada Islam joining him as magazine editor, EUobserver will become an even stronger and influential media on Europe," Kirk said.

Islam was a correspondent for more than 20 years with media outlets including The Far Eastern Economic Review, the BBC African Service and DPA, the German Press Agency. Her commentaries are published in several European and international newspapers, including EUobserver, the Guardian and East Asia Forum.

As a policy think tanker, she has been the director of Europe and geopolitics at Friends of Europe and now works independently as a commentator, advisor and analyst as head of her own company New Horizons Project.

EUobserver is a not-for-profit online newspaper established in Brussels in 2000. Its high journalistic standards and hard-hitting stories attract a readership that has doubled over the past two years. It supports its journalism through a monthly/yearly subscription.

Under new leadership, EUobserver will remain committed to free-thinking, plain speech and supporting European democracy with reporting and commentary that holds the EU establishment to account.

"I have long admired the independence and values that EUobserver and its team of experienced and focused reporters and editors bring to journalism in Europe," Kanter said. "At a time when the legitimacy of the EU is increasingly contested, those qualities couldn't be more important."

Kanter started his career in independent, non-profit journalism with The Cambodia Daily newspaper in Phnom Penh where he served as editor in chief during the mid-1990s.

Islam's appointments include a visiting professorship at the College of Europe in Natolin and a Solvay fellowship at Vrije University Brussel. She is also senior advisor at the European Policy Centre and other European think tanks and will continue to run New Horizons Project.

"As a truly independent and often fearless news outlet, EUobserver is a must-read for those looking for a diversity of views and who want more than repetitive mainstream commentary on the EU," said Islam.

Kanter will continue producing EU Scream podcast episodes in association with EUobserver and is developing an audio series with Islam that draws on her expertise in geopolitics, fighting racism, and promoting the rights of minorities in Europe.

Kanter and Islam take over from Koert Debeuf, who has served as EUobserver editor-in-chief since 2019.

An expert on the Middle East, Debeuf has broadened coverage In recent years EUobserver to focus on major regional issues.

Debeuf also successfully steered EUobserver through a flurry of attacks in the form of strategic litigation against public participation (aka SLAPPs) — lawsuits brought by powerful individuals and organisations to chill a free press and the work of civil society organisations.

"I am proud to have been the editor in chief of one of the only real independent newspapers in Brussels," said Debeuf. "This is the work of a small but most dedicated team of excellent journalists who are not afraid to speak truth to power."

An expert on the Middle East, Debeuf has written three books including Inside the Arab Revolution and Tribalisation. He recently completed his doctorate on the influence of Arab and Islamic philosophy on European thought.

"I am confident that with James and Shada this newspaper will only become better," said Debeuf.


EUobserver's Top 10 stories of 2021

From the Mediterranean to Minsk, from Covid to climate change, EUobserver has proudly broken original stories on the EU institutions in 2021 - under our ethos of 'Independent. Investigative. Influential.'


20 years of EUobserver

Our special anniversary magazine gives an overview of the major events of these past 20 years - and, for every event, we talked to one of the key players. It makes this magazine a document of recent EU history.


Lessons learned by an EUobserver editor-in-chief

The European project moves forward not 'despite' criticism, but thanks to those critical voices pushing for more cooperation and more democratic transparency. That is why European journalism is essential to the European project.


What Europe still needs to do to save its bees

On World Bee Day, it is essential to pay homage to a variety of pollinating insects crucial for our food security. A number of EU projects contribute to their sustained survival.


Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK

Eurozone finance ministers will discuss the economic worries with the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, agriculture ministers are set to talk food prices, and EU affairs ministers will put Hungary on the spot in the Article 7 procedure.


Ultraconservatives in Putin's shadow

Vladimir Putin's Ukraine war has threatened to be a public relations disaster for hard-right gatherings like the Conservative Political Action Conference — now meeting in Budapest and featuring Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, who remains highly-cordial with the Kremlin.

News in Brief

  1. UK to send 'hundreds' of migrants to Rwanda each year
  2. Norwegian knife attacks were domestic dispute
  3. Sweden hits back at Turkey's 'disinformation' in Nato bid
  4. Germany's Schröder gives up one of two Russia jobs
  5. G7 countries pledge €18bn in financial aid for Ukraine
  6. Italian unions strike in protest over military aid for Ukraine
  7. Russia cuts gas supply to Finland
  8. Half of Gazprom's clients have opened rouble accounts

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. What Europe still needs to do to save its bees
  2. Remembering Falcone: How Italy almost became a narco-state
  3. Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK
  4. MEPs urge sanctioning the likes of ex-chancellor Schröder
  5. MEPs call for a more forceful EU response to Kremlin gas cut
  6. Catalan leader slams Pegasus use: 'Perhaps I'm still spied on'
  7. More EU teams needed to prosecute Ukraine war crimes
  8. French EU presidency struggling on asylum reforms

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us