Press release
Matt Sanders

A member of the Deseret Digital Media family is sharing his talents across international borders.

Matthew R. Sanders, a senior director and general manager at Deseret Digital Media, assumed the presidency of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) at the organization's 72nd general assembly in Mexico City on Tuesday.

"It is with humility and gratitude that I approach the responsibility to serve as president for the 2016-2017 term," Sanders said in his remarks. "I have been frankly overwhelmed by the kindness and welcome you've shown me, to my family, my company and now the trust you've placed in me to help carry on the noble work of this organization."

The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization "dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press." It consists of more than 1,300 print publications throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, according to its website.

Sanders, who is fluent in Spanish, is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Harvard University. He has been with Deseret Digital Media for more than six years. He oversees the contributor network Deseret Connect and BrandForge Syndication and Native Ad Service, serving 420 markets in the U.S. and Latin America. Deseret Digital Media is a sister company of the Deseret News and produces, and other websites.

Sanders has also served as director of online instruction at BYU–Idaho, where he supervised the recruitment, hiring, development and management of remote faculty supporting the university. Sanders has also held management roles at a variety of other companies.

Chris Lee, president of Deseret Digital Media, expressed support for Sanders in a release Thursday.

"We are honored to be a member of the Inter American Press Association, an organization which does vital work to protect freedom of expression and press in dozens of countries," Lee said in the release. "Matt Sanders leads Deseret Digital Media’s presence across Latin America, which continues to expand, so we are especially pleased he can fill the role of next IAPA president."

As president, Sanders will organize the IAPA's assembly in Salt Lake City next October.

"After such an experience (in Mexico City), I am even more motivated to make Salt Lake City an unforgettable assembly," Sanders said.

In his remarks, Sanders championed the First Amendment of the Constitution, giving specific emphasis to freedom of the press, speech and religion. He also discussed the mission of the Deseret media companies "to be trusted voices of light and truth."

"We need to reenergize the world of media that has been shocked by the twin challenges of digital disruption and the rise of autocratic. I would encourage each of us ... to reach out to like-minded media companies, businesses and colleagues to join us. We must also invite the younger, globally and cause-minded generation drawn by the light of liberty to labor at our sides," Sanders said. "We must make IAPA a place that welcomes, empowers and defends the rising generation of journalists and digital media leaders eager to carry the light of liberty."

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