International Federation of Journalists
|Type||Global union federation|
|Purpose||Press freedom, journalists' rights|
|600 000, from 187 organisations in about 140 countries|
|English, French, Spanish|
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.
The IFJ is an associate member of UNESCO 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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, the first widely recognised text on journalistic ethics.
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.
In 2019, IFJ 30th World Congress took place for the first time in Africa and in an Arab Country, in Tunis, Tunisia. The Congress proved historical also because the 300 delegates from more than 100 countries adopted the Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists, which reinforced the ethical standards laid down by the 1954 IFJ Declaration of Principles on the Conduct of Journalists.
Priorities and campaigns
The International Federation of Journalists supports and organises union of journalists’ activities in defending their rights and press freedom worldwide.
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.
Freelance journalists’ rights are a priority concern for the IFJ, which encourages its affiliates to integrate them in their structures.
The Federation promotes equality between women and men journalists in editorial offices and the workplace, in trade unions and in the content of information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
The Congress is the supreme organ of the Federation. Every three years, it brings together delegates from all its member unions.
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.
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
|Georg Bernhard||1928–1930||United Kingdom|
|Harry Richardson||1930–1932||United Kingdom|
|Archibald Kenyon||1939–1949||United Kingdom|
|Clement Bundock||1952–1956||United Kingdom|
|Jim Bradley||1964–1970||United Kingdom|
|K. G. Michanek||1970–1974||Sweden|
|Helmut A. Crous||1974–1978||Germany|
|Ken Ashton||1982–1986||United Kingdom|
|Jim Boumelha||2007–2016||United Kingdom|
List of General Secretaries
|Jiri Hronek||1947–1952 (IOJ)||Czechoslovakia|
|Aidan White||1987–2011||United Kingdom|
- National Union of Journalists
- Global union federation
- International Freedom of Expression Exchange
- National Writers Union
- Association of Iranian Journalists
- Tunisia Monitoring Group
- National Union of Somali Journalists
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- "IFJ launches new Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists / IFJ". www.ifj.org. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
- "Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
- "Freelancers' rights". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
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- "Gender equality". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
- "IFJ Gender Council elects its new executive committee / FIJ". www.ifj.org (in French). Retrieved 2019-08-02.
- "ifj.org". Archived from the original on 2005-08-28. Retrieved 2005-08-24.
- "Donate". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
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- "Where". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
- "Constitution". IFJ. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
- "Younes M'Jahed of Morocco elected new IFJ president / IFJ". www.ifj.org. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
- "IFJ Special Magazine "90 years of stories" / IFJ".