Keeping up with the state of journalism throughout the world is easier today, but the task has become a bit more difficult because of the millions of Internet sites. Knowing where to look is most of the battle. To make your job less confusing and time-consuming, you might want to check out these reliable online sources for all sorts of global information about the media.
Inter American Press Association
The Inter American Press Association (www.sipiapa.org), based in Miami, is one of the most popular organizations for learning what our colleagues in the Americas face each day. While the IAPA exists primarily to offer technical advice on publishing matters and provide funds for educational opportunities, the group also keeps a close eye on violations against the press throughout Latin America.
In mid-December, for example, the IAPA “called on the authorities in Mexico to immediately investigate and identify those responsible for the murder of journalist Gerardo Israel García Pimentel.” Earlier in the month, the group joined seven other media associations, formally known as the Global Coordinating Committee of Press Freedom Organizations, in condemning the continued punishment of journalists in Venezuela and Cuba.
International Federation of Journalists
The International Federation of Journalists (www.ifj.org), formed in 1926, seeks “to defend press freedom and social justice through strong, free and independent trade unions of journalists.” The IFJ, with 156 member unions in 120 countries, embraces such issues as human rights, labor rights, press freedom and safety, and quality in journalism.
The federation issues frequent and regular news releases on activities involving journalists and the media, from calling for the release of a French journalist who was kidnapped in Somalia (Dec. 17) to demanding an investigation into the beating of a Nepalese reporter by local police (Dec. 11). Watch the video “IFJ: Making News for Democracy” at www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmTfpEcEHFI.
International News Safety Institute
Less well-known is the International News Safety Institute (www.newssafety.com), a nongovernmental organization “dedicated to the safety of journalists and media staff and committed to fighting the persecution of journalists everywhere. The Institute is a coalition of media organizations, press freedom groups, unions and humanitarian campaigners working to create a culture of safety in media in all corners of the world.”
The INSI began in May 2003 and is headquartered in Brussels. Chris Cramer, the managing director of CNN International, serves as president.
In a welcome message on the institute’s new Web site, Director Rodney Pinder explains their objective: “to help all journalists and support staff work more safely in hostile environments, in war or other conflict, at home and abroad. More than 1,200 friends and colleagues in the news media have been killed in the course of their work around the world in the past 10 years. INSI was set up … by news organizations and journalist support groups determined to staunch this bloodshed.”
Internews (www.internews.org), a nonprofit organization based in California, has equipped and trained people in more than 70 countries to disseminate news of regional importance. The organization’s programs “are built on the conviction that providing people with access to vibrant, diverse news and information empowers them to participate effectively in their communities, effect positive social change, improve their living standards and make their voices heard.”
Each year, Internews, which began in 1982, assists more than 9,000 media professionals in journalism, production and management.
Last, but by no means least, is a fresh new Web site by Editors’ World (www.editorsworld.org). The theory behind “Bringing the world to Main Street” revolves around “a Web site of international reports written for but not by journalists. Editors’ World seeks to identify … important ideas and trends shaping policy and economics across the globe.”
Nancy Hicks Maynard, founder and director of Editors’ World, explained that “the site empowers journalists with a comprehensive resource to decipher the world’s most important developments while providing insights as to how these stories impact ‘Main Street USA.’” Among the international topics addressed will be immigration, globalization, trade and manufacturing, education, energy and the environment, and health care. There is a nominal charge to access all sections of the site.