The South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) has become the collective voice of journalists across the South Asia region since it was established in 2002. It is a platform for joint strategy and action that builds solidarity and join action among journalists’ organisations and other civil society groups, is the best chance for affecting change for a democratic media environment critical to the free flow of information central to democracy. SAMSN is committed to working together to promote freedom of expression, freedom of association and journalists’ rights in Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
SAMSN aims to promote regional solidarity through collective power and action, country missions, campaigns, Days of Action, forums, training programs and recruitment. Its main activities include drawing attention to violations of press freedom, conducting advocacy and campaigns for media and journalists’ rights, sharing resources and information, issuing a monthly e-bulletin and preparing annual press freedom reports.
The SAMSN Digital Hub was launched in 2014 and is central hub for all news and campaigns for press freedom and media solidarity across South Asia.
In 2009 SAMSN developed a charter pledging commitment to work together as a cohesive network to support each other in our common aspiration to improve and assert press freedom and the rights of journalists in the South Asia region.
In 2013 SAMSN developed its Gender charter setting out minimum standards, principles and actions needed to underpin gender equity.
UNDEF: South Asia Media Freedom for Democracy Project 2014-16
Media in South Asia has grown without journalists having a clear perception of best practices for the public right to free speech and information. Legal and institutional constraints remain, despite commitment in most national constitutions to these basic rights. The current climate of impunity, which allows attacks, including the killing of journalists, to go unpunished has a chilling effect on free speech and challenges campaigns in defence of press freedom.
The South Asia Media Freedom for Democracy project seeks to bolster the capacity of South Asian journalist organisations and press freedom groups through the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN), an alliance of journalists' trade unions, press freedom organisations and activists in South Asia committed to working together to promote freedom of expression and journalists' rights in South Asia. The project conducts training workshops; rights monitoring, advocacy and digital campaign skills development; will create a Digital Hub of resources and campaign guides, including on Freedom of Expression in the digital space, action alerts, distribute monthly and half-yearly bulletins; conduct collaborative missions and campaigns; and produce an annual report providing a progress report of where the campaign is at and what more needs to be done.