Main organizations for the defence of journalists


There are at least eight non-governmental organizations that campaign for press rights, freedom of expression and the protection of journalists, besides the major organizations that defend human rights in the wider sense. They are a precious source of information about the condition of press freedom around the world.

  • The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which publishes a safety manual, has set up a “Safety Fund” for threatened journalists to provide them with material and legal assistance. This fund is part of the IFJ Safety Programme for journalists, which includes casework, protest campaigns, disseminating information and producing various publications. The IFJ headquarters are in Brussels.
  • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) maintains an “impunity index” of countries that have regularly shown inability to solve the murders of media professionals over the last ten years. The CPJ, whose headquarters is in New York, publishes a safety manual entitled the “Journalist Safety Guide” in English, Spanish and Arabic.
  • Reporters without Borders (RWB) displays a map on its site that shows in red the countries whose regimes are “predators” of seriously threatened or nonexistent press freedom. RWB also maintains a “press freedom barometer”, updating the number of journalists murdered and imprisoned as well as the number of “netizens” (bloggers) in jail. RWB is based in Paris.
  • The International News Safety Institute (INSI), based in London, develops safety programmes for media staff at local and worldwide levels. It aims to set up a worldwide network of organizations endeavouring to reduce risks. On the home page of its website, the INSI displays a counter with the number of the journalists murdered since the beginning of the year.
  • The International Press Institute (IPI), which also displays a “Death Watch Counter” on its site with the number of media professionals killed, is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Based in Vienna (Austria), the IPI tracks cases of journalists facing denial of justice and also maintains a watch list of countries moving towards authoritarian government threatening freedom of opinion. Whenever possible, the IPI claims, it tries to establish dialogue with States concerned to convince them not to muzzle their media.
  • The World Association of Newspapers (AMJ/WAN) devotes part of its site to attacks on press freedom, showing the number of press professionals murdered and denouncing the most serious infringements. AMJ is based in Paris and Darmstadt (Germany).
  • The International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) is a worldwide network of 88 national and regional organizations for the defence of press freedom and human rights, which works to defend and promote the right to free expression. Based in Toronto (Canada), IFEX maintains its site in five languages.
  • The Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) has the goal of promoting the conditions for building peace and democracy through free and fair media. Working together with local media in countries where press freedom is burgeoning, the IWPR organizes practical training courses for journalists. Based in London, it publishes a “manual for local journalists in crisis areas” in English.
  • The Journalists Memorial lists every victim since 1944 on its website, with the date of the person’s death and the media they worked for.
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