The IFJ is a global federation of national journalist unions consisting of trade unions and professional associations. First founded in 1926 in Paris, it relocated to Brussels after the Second World War and has been based there for the past 60 years.
IFJ is legally registered under Belgian law as an AISBL, an international not-for-profit organisation that works to promote journalists’ rights, standards and safety. It also promotes journalists solidarity and better-working conditions in the belief that real press freedom and journalism can only be achieved when journalists can operate in conditions free of corruption, poverty and fear.
IFJ policy is decided by the Congress which meets every three years and work is carried out by the Secretariat based in Brussels under the direction of an elected Executive Committee. The last Congress was held in Dublin on 4 – 7 June, 2013. Regional and national programmes are implemented through the IFJ’s regional offices and structures in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
IFJ projects in the MENA region are aimed at building the capacity of unions to organise and represent journalists. Where journalists are organised and represented by strong, independent and democratic unions they are better able to defend their rights and report in the public interest. Projects have focused on:
- Improving journalists’ safety and fighting impunity.
- Monitoring, reporting and campaigning on all violations of journalists rights.
- Promoting the highest ethical standards of journalism.
- Promoting gender equality and fighting all forms of discrimination in journalism.
- Defending rights at work, fighting corruption, reforming media laws and creating a democratic media culture that serves the public interest.
The IFJ has played a central role in two previous EU-funded projects covering the Southern Mediterranean Region. The Europe for Mediterranean Journalists programme aimed to improve the standards of reporting on EU/MEDA relations within the ENP countries. This was achieved by training journalists on how to produce professional reports on EU issues and reinforcing cooperation amongst local media organisations.
The IFJ also implemented the networking component of the European Neighbourhood Journalism Network (ENJN) which set out to develop networks and provide training opportunities for journalists in the Euromed and Eastern European Neighbourhood.
Through the project, IFJ succeeded in expanding and strengthening existing media networks in the ENP region. It also organised a series of 15 conferences and other events which were attended by a total of 1,000 participants.