International Federation of Journalists

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
International Federation of Journalists
TypeGlobal union federation
PurposePress freedom, journalists' rights
600 000, from 187 organisations in about 140 countries
Official language
English, French, Spanish
Younes M'Jahed
General Secretary
Anthony Bellanger

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is a global union federation of journalists' trade unions—the largest in the world. It represents more than 600 000 media workers from 187 organisations in 146 countries.[1]

The IFJ is an associate member of UNESCO[2] and has represented journalists at the United Nations since 1953 (UN/ILO). It works with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD.

IFJ President is the Moroccan journalist and trade unionist Younes Mjahed. Anthony Bellanger, a French journalist and trade unionist, is the organisation’s General Secretary.[3]

Upon request, the IFJ delivers the International Press Card to members of its affiliated organisations, the only press pass endorsed by national journalists' organisations in more than 130 countries.[4]

The Federation’s headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium (155, rue de la Loi).


The International Federation of Journalists was founded in 1926 in Paris, on the initiative of the French Syndicat national des journalistes (SNJ). At the time, it represented about 25 000 media workers from about twenty countries and had its headquarters in Paris. Its first President was the French reporter Georges Bourdon.[5]

With the occupation of France by Nazi Germany, the Second World War put an end to the IFJ's activities in Paris. A few union then decided to form in London the International Federation of Journalists of the Allies or free countries (IFJAFC), whose first Congress took place in 1941. IFJAFC dissolved in 1946, once the war over, becoming the International Organisation of Journalists (IOJ).[5]

As a result of the Cold War, the International Federation of Journalists was relaunched in 1952 at a World Congress in Brussels attended by 49 delegates. It will be competed by the IOJ, based in Prague and composed mainly of national journalists' unions from Central and Eastern Europe and developing countries, until the 1990s.

The IFJ was officially recognised by the United Nations Economic and Social Council[6] (Ecosoc) and UNESCO.[2]

At IFJ Second World Congress in Bordeaux in 1954, delegates representing more than 43 000 media workers from 21 unions in 18 countries adopted the IFJ Declaration of Principles on the Conduct of Journalists,[7] the first widely recognised text on journalistic ethics.[5]

The gradual disappearance of the IOJ in the 1990s gave a new impetus to the IFJ, with the membership of national trade unions from non-aligned states or from the former Soviet bloc. At the same time, IFJ encouraged the regionalisation of its activities and regional offices appeared in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Europe.[5]

In 2019, IFJ 30th World Congress took place for the first time in Africa and in an Arab Country, in Tunis, Tunisia.[8] The Congress proved historical also because the 300 delegates from more than 100 countries adopted the Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists,[9] which reinforced the ethical standards laid down by the 1954 IFJ Declaration of Principles on the Conduct of Journalists.[10]

Priorities and campaigns[edit]

The International Federation of Journalists supports and organises union of journalists’ activities in defending their rights and press freedom worldwide.[1]

It fights for the improvement of journalists' working conditions and rights: freedom of expression, fair remuneration, stable employment and decent pay, gender equality and the fight against all forms of discrimination, copyright protection, freedom of association, safety.... In this regard, it campaigns for the adoption of standards aimed at protecting the journalists’ rights and strengthening collective agreements.[1]

Freelance journalists’ rights are a priority concern for the IFJ, which encourages its affiliates to integrate them in their structures.[11]

The IFJ deals with various threats to press freedom: media concentration, repressive laws, censorship, intimidations, impunity for crimes against media workers[12]

Gender equality[edit]

The Federation promotes equality between women and men journalists in editorial offices and the workplace, in trade unions and in the content of information.[13]

IFJ Gender Council was founded in 2001 and is composed of representatives of organisations affiliated to the IFJ. It is an advisory body that sets the organisation's priorities in terms of gender equality and LGBTI representation.[14]

The IFJ's objectives for achieving equality include: equal pay, women's access to positions of responsibility in both the media and trade unions, conciliation of private and professional life, combating all forms of harassment, discrimination and violence against women journalists, balanced and unbiased representation of women and men in information content and at all levels of the media industry.[13]


Since 1990, the IFJ has published an annual report (the "Killed list") which documents cases of journalists and media staff killed during the course of each year. It uses the information to campaign for greater safety for journalists, particularly local and freelance reporters and support staff who lack the resources to protect themselves in conflict zones. The annual reports are archived on the website.[15]

Since 1992, the Federation has also had a Safety Fund to support journalists (and their families) when faced with persecution. It has become internationally recognised as an important and crucial source of support for journalists under threat. It is the only international assistance fund for journalists established by journalists.[16]

The Safety Fund is an integral part of the IFJ Safety Programme which includes casework, protests, campaigns, provision of information and production of various publications.

Besides, the IFJ organises safety trainings for journalists working in dangerous areas.


The IFJ Head Office is located in Brussels, Belgium.[17]

The Federation has regional organisations in Africa (Federation of African Journalists – FAJ), Europe (European Federation of Journalists) and Latin America (Federación de Periodistas de América Latina y el Caribe -FEPALC).

Regional offices are located in Sydney (Australia), Dakar (Senegal), Brussels and Buenos Aires (Argentina).[18]

The Congress is the supreme organ of the Federation. Every three years, it brings together delegates from all its member unions.[19]

Moroccan journalist and trade unionist Younes Mjahed was elected IFJ President during IFJ Congress in Tunis in 2019. He succeeded the Belgian journalist Philippe Leruth, elected at the Angers Congress in 2016.[20]

French journalist and trade unionist Anthony Bellanger has been the IFJ General Secretary since 2015. He was First General Secretary of the French Syndicat National des Journalistes (SNJ) from 2011 to 2014.

List of IFJ Presidents[edit]

President Office Origin
Georges Bourdon 1926–1928  France
Georg Bernhard 1928–1930  United Kingdom
Harry Richardson 1930–1932  United Kingdom
Herman Dons 1932–1934  Belgium
Paul Bourguin 1934–1936   Switzerland
Karl Eskelund 1936–1938  Denmark
Archibald Kenyon 1939–1949  United Kingdom
Clement Bundock 1952–1956  United Kingdom
Marcel Stijns 1956–1964  Belgium
Jim Bradley 1964–1970  United Kingdom
K. G. Michanek 1970–1974  Sweden
Helmut A. Crous 1974–1978  Germany
Paul Parisot 1978–1982  France
Ken Ashton 1982–1986  United Kingdom
Mia Doornaert 1986–1990  Belgium
Jens Linde 1990–1998  Denmark
Chris Warren 1998–2007  Australia
Jim Boumelha 2007–2016  United Kingdom
Philippe Leruth 2016–2019  Belgium
Younes Mjahed 2019–present  Morocco


List of General Secretaries[edit]

General Secretary Office Origin
Stephen Valot 1926–1940  France
L.-A. Berry 1941–1947  Australia
Jiri Hronek 1947–1952 (IOJ)  Czechoslovakia
Théo Bogaerts 1952–1985  Belgium
Hans Larsen 1985–1987  Denmark
Aidan White 1987–2011  United Kingdom
Beth Costa 2011–2015  Brazil
Anthony Bellanger 2015–present  France

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "About IFJ". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  2. ^ a b "WSIS Forum 2010". Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  3. ^ "Anthony Bellanger, appointed new IFJ General Secretary / IFJ". Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  4. ^ "Press card". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "IFJ Special Magazine "90 years of stories" / IFJ". Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  6. ^ "List of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council as of 1 September 2018*" (PDF). United Nations Economic and Social Council. 2018-10-31. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  7. ^ "Syndicat National des Journalistes | Premier syndicat français de journalistes". Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  8. ^ "30th IFJ Congress kicks off next week in Tunis / IFJ". Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  9. ^ "IFJ launches new Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists / IFJ". Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  10. ^ "Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  11. ^ "Freelancers' rights". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  12. ^ "La liberté de la presse". FIJ (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  13. ^ a b "Gender equality". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  14. ^ "IFJ Gender Council elects its new executive committee / FIJ". (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  15. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2005-08-28. Retrieved 2005-08-24.
  16. ^ "Donate". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  17. ^ "IFJ Head Office". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  18. ^ "Where". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  19. ^ "Constitution". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  20. ^ "Younes M'Jahed of Morocco elected new IFJ president / IFJ". Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  21. ^ "IFJ Special Magazine "90 years of stories" / IFJ".
  • ^ Membership info at IFJ website.

External links[edit]