IFJ Programmes Asia - Pacific

Current programmes include  

  • Stronger unions for Stringer Media (Union To Union) 
  • South Asia Media Freedom for Democracy (UNDEF) 
  • Regional youth meeting (FES) 
  • South Asia Media Freedom and Solidarity (NMFA) 
  • Press Freedom in China (NED) 
  • Philippines Safety Office (Norse Journalistlag) 
  • Strengthening Media and Journalism Ethics in the Pacific (UNESCO IPDC)         
  • Gender in Media in Asia-Pacific (UNESCO)  

Stronger Unions for Stronger Media  

Location: Asia/Pacific                       

Dates: 2014 - 2016  


To strengthen the capacity for journalists in the region to organise into effective media trade unions, with strong and democratic leaderships and organisational structures, and an enhanced capacity to identify the priorities of members and respond to these in a way that better represents and protects the economic and professional needs of journalists in the Asia Pacific.  

The action would seek to address the problem of poor working conditions and the vulnerability of media personnel to violence and unethical journalism in a way that supports the unions’ current activities, while reinforcing and expanding the union’s governance and chapter structure.  


1)Regional Network Strengthening  

  • Two-day Regional Meeting 
  • Two Sub-Regional Meetings

2) Gender Mainstreaming

  • Mainstream gender throughout training curriculums. 
  • Improve women representation in union leadership and activities

3) Strategic development planning and training

4) Train the Trainer

  • Basic train the trainer (TTT) workshops conducted in three countries. 
  • Advanced train the trainer (TTT) workshops conducted in two countries.

5) Localised union strengthening and professional development training

At least 6x 2-day local trade union training/professional development workshops

6)  Campaign and Advocacy actions to promote media rights at a national and regional level  

Partners: Journalists Unions in the Asia-Pacific region  

Expected Results

  • Improved Leadership, professionalism and organisational capacity -          Sustained training and local skills transfer. 
  • Journalists’ unions increase campaign capacity for press freedom and working conditions. 
  • Improved Gender equity. 
  • Strengthened Regional network.  

The programme is supported by Union To Union

South Asia Media Freedom for Democracy  

Location: South Asia                                        

Dates: 2014 - 2016  


The project objective is to bolster the capacity of South Asian journalist organisations and press freedom groups, and to support a regionally coordinated voice to promote and defend the role of a free media in the democratic process, particularly in the digital environment.  


The project will be implemented 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.

To achieve the outcomes the project employs different components: training workshops; rights monitoring, advocacy and digital campaign skills development; creating a Digital Hub of resources and campaign guide, including on Freedom of Expression in the digital space, action alerts, monthly and half-yearly bulletins; collaborative missions and campaigns; an annual report providing a progress report of where the campaign is at and what more needs to be done.    

Partners: Journalists Unions in South Asia and Members of South Asia Media Solidarity Network  

Expected Results

  • Media Rights Monitoring (MRM) and Advocacy training module developed and translated 
  • Digital Campaign Skills training module and Campaign Guide developed and translated 
  • Secure Communications course outline developed and over 30 journalists trained in secure communications 
  • Six in-country training for SAMSN members in Media Rights Monitoring and Advocacy across six countries 
  • Ten Monitoring and Advocacy small grants and annual national reports on MRM 
  • Four in-country training for SAMSN members in Digital Campaign Skills across four countries 
  • Four in-country Digital Campaigns 
  • SAMSN Expansion and Regional Strategy Meeting 
  • One Annual South Asia Press Freedom Report published (hard copy and online) SAMSN leadership team trained in Digital Campaign Skills 
  • SAMSN Digital Hub and regional database for enhanced regional communication established and updated   The programme is supported by United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF)    

Regional Youth meeting  

Youth recruitment, Digital media and Union reform

Location: TBC             

Dates: 2015 - 2017  


Increase the recruitment of young journalists into unions by encouraging IFJ members to adopt specific policies that target young journalists in recruitment, services and decision making roles. This will be done through a global campaign on recruiting the new generation of journalists into the union movement that will give the following results: 

  • Research the current impact of changes in the media industry on recruiting and organizing challenges facing unions around the world. It will have a particular focus on policies targeting youth and their impact 
  • Promote a deep debate within the IFJ family on how it can adapt itself to the changing media landscape to maintain its relevance to young journalists 
  • Promote best practice examples of union’s adapting their organizing and recruitment strategies for the 21st Century 
  • Ensure youth recruitment and reform are key elements of the IFJ’s working programme post 2016 Congress  

The impact will be to ensure that the future generations of journalists and communications workers continue to be actively involved in unions and that unions adapt to their new needs. Should unions fail to adapt journalists will be exposed to ever deteriorating conditions, a loss of resources and increased intimidation and control at work over the content they produce, thereby reducing the independence and professionalism of journalists and their role in informing the public.    

Activities ­  

  • Youth survey ­  
  • South Asia Youth meeting  

Partners: Journalists Unions in Asia-Pacific region  

Expected Results

  • Production of a global study and report on organising and recruitment challenges and best practice 
  • Organising a global debate on the report that highlights the alternative strategies available 
  • Adoption of conclusions and action programme for the IFJ to be adopted at the IFJ Congress for its working programme 
  • The delivery of a series of regional workshops on union organising and recruitment using the best practices developed earlier   The programme is supported by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung    

South Asia Media Freedom and Solidarity  

Location: South Asia                         

Dates: 2013-2016  


The overall objective of the South Asia Media Freedom and Solidarity Project is to enhance conditions for free and pluralistic reporting in the region by improving journalists’ safety and press freedom conditions.  


  • Gender Roundtable at regional SAMSN meeting- improved gender policy           SAMSN Digital hub enhanced to improve networking and campaigning          Mission to Sri Lanka – to re-establish dialogue on media freedoms          
  • Annual South Asia Press freedom report 
  • Media rights monitoring training – to strengthen monitoring network 
  • Regional advocacy campaigns to include global actions 
  • Institutional strengthening of partner unions 
  • Two 2-day gender safety training in Pakistan and India training up to 50 journalists each – improved safety for women journalists  

Partners: Journalist unions in South Asia  

Expected Results

  • Strengthened the existing regional network and enhance its capacity to represent journalists throughout South Asia around issues of safety, working conditions and journalistic freedoms. 
  • Journalists and press freedom advocates joined with civil society groups and activists to defend media freedoms as a basis for defending or promoting broader freedoms and rights. 
  • Improved professional capacity of journalists to monitor, document and publicise breaches of media rights and issues that are a direct or indirect threat to media rights. 
  • Improved capacity of journalists to remain safe and employ safety techniques at work, coordinate regional activities with active journalists and media rights organisations in the region. 
  • Improved capacity and confidence of network partners to negotiate for fair wages and job security on behalf of their members. 
  • Key principles of gender mainstreaming understood and a stated commitment to action for gender equity in union leadership and the workplace 
  • Improved capacity of journalists to implement basic internet and communications security 
  • A regional response to internet freedom and security including regional campaign action and awareness-raising developed. 
  • Best practices collected around the region relating to journalist safety training, advocacy campaigns, rapid response models, ICT in training and dissemination.   
  • Strengthened  democratic structure and principles of media union bodies and associations within the region 
  • Improved capacity for journalist associations to undertake strategic actions to promote and defend freedom of expression 
  • Improved information exchange and cross-border alliances, enhancing national, regional and international attention to threats to freedom of expression and the safety of media workers throughout South Asia  

The programme is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Press Freedom in China  

Location: China, Hong Kong, Macau          

Dates: February 2015-January 2016  


  • To protect media freedom in China and raise awareness of media rights violations by improving media coverage of media rights violations  
  • To strengthen the ability of the media in Hong Kong and China to promote independent and free and fair reporting of the political process and human rights by increasing the capacity of journalists to monitor press freedom abuses 


  • Press monitoring and advocacy – expansion of network, monthly bulletins, alerts 
  • Media violations mapping 
  • 1 x two day workshop (topics include – public service values in media, new media developments, social networking tools, ethics and privacy, discussion on a manual for civic journalism and methods for greater understanding of media rights and press freedom from local authorities) 
  • Digital rights & security resource development for journalists & journalism students – to provide skills to protect journalist materials, identify violations & techniques for reporting them, info on latest developments on digital rights & internet governance. 
  • 1 x China press freedom report  

Partners: Journalists unions in East Asia  

Expected Results

  • Maintenance of the project officeExtension of the monitoring network.
  • Regular alerts across the monitoring networkMonthly bulletins and press freedom violations mapped
  • Press Freedom ReportCampaigns around specific issues/cases
  • At least 25 journalists join public service journalism workshop  

The project is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

Philippines Safety Office  

Location: Philippines        

Dates: 2013 - 2015  


Provide for  a safety office for journalists in the Philippines which responds to the high number of journalists killed or harmed.    


  • Safety training workshops and risk mapping discussions,
  • Roundtable meetings to raise public awareness on the issues,
  • Monitor, documentation of violence against journalists,
  • Responding to individual cases
  • Co-ordinating possible legal avenues and witness protection programs.

Partners: National Union of Journalists Philippines  

Expected Results

  • Safety office established in Manila for journalists 
  • Strengthened capacity of journalists to conduct their work safely 
  • Raised awareness for journalists and the wider community on impunity          
  • Quick response team responds to incidents as they occur – support for journalists strengthened    

The project is supported by the Norse Journalistlag    

Strengthening Media and Journalism Ethics in the Pacific  

Location: Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea               

Dates: August 2014 – July 2015  


  • Advocate on behalf of press freedom and freedom of expression ­       
  • Promote ethical journalism and the role of the media in democratic engagement ­Represent the rights and interests of journalists and the media ­       
  • Build networks and coalitions of human rights and press freedom defenders ­    
  • Professionalise and grow their organisations; and ­       
  • Direct information and priorities from local journalists/members into national and local policy initiatives and advocacy efforts.  


  • Design and delivery of basic training modules on organising, recruitment and professional development.
  • Training will be conducted with three (3) partner countries, with 20-25 participants per national training workshop. ­  
  • Three (3) online surveys will be done in each country to assess working conditions, ethical challenges and the press freedom environment. ­  
  • Research and publication of three (3) Journalism in the Pacific Country Situation Reports ­  
  • National and region press freedom networks will be strengthened for more effective coordinated press freedom and freedom of expression campaigns in Asia-Pacific.    

Partners: Journalist associations in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea  

Expected Results

  • Targeted media associations in the Pacific have an increased capacity to network and campaign for press freedom, freedom of expression and fair working conditions. 
  • Professionalism of journalists and the democratic structures of their associations will be improved and strengthened.
  • Media Association membership and gender equity will increase. 
  • Increased awareness among journalists of the role and value of journalists’ associations, including working conditions and gender equity.
  • Strengthened national and international advocacy to improve the welfare of journalists.  

The project is supported by UNESCO - IPDC      

Gender in Media in Asia Pacific  

Location: India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vanuatu, Malaysia 

Dates: July 2014 – June 2016  


  • To set out minimum standards, principles and actions needed to underpin gender equity in media in the Asia-Pacific and outline a practical program of action to support the achievement of equality in media workplaces, journalists’ organisations and the media itself.
  • To create equality throughout society it is essential that the media promote and protect gender equality, both within the working environment and in their representation of women. Gender equity in the media workplace is central to any discussion about gender equality in society. In the longer-term, the study will recommend a coherent set of actions and priorities to catalyse deep change for women’s empowerment and gender equality in and through media.


  • Develop and share survey to participant countries, via researchers, unions and IFJ affiliates 
  • Aggregate data from the surveys to highlights trends within countries and across sub-regions and region 
  • Interview media organisations and discuss gender issues 
  • Each researcher will be responsible for writing two-four case studies from their country 
  • Write report which brings together all the research  Partners: Journalist unions in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vanuatu, Malaysia    

Expected Results

  • Establishment of a framework for a policy of gender equality in the Asia-Pacific that can be incorporated into local, national and regional policy and action frameworks; 
  • Strengthened advocacy, through the development of best practice case studies, content analysis, surveys, interviews and focus group research;          
  • Increased profile of gender sensitive indicators and UNESCO work on media and gender; 
  • Advocacy actions to target governments and local authorities and media in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Vanuatu and Cambodia.          
  • Strengthen and inform regional and global evidence-base on the implementation of critical area of concern “Women and Media” of the Beijing Platform for Action; 
  • Support UN Women’s evidence-based advocacy and coordination work on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, particularly on the implementation of the BPfA. 
  • Regional networking and generation of concerted Asia-Pacific actions through increased solidarity and networking on gender equity issues such as equal opportunity in appointment, recruitment, promotion and advancement in journalism and in payment of salaries and the increased representation of women in media. 
  • The project will produce results of national surveys; focus group research; analysis of women in senior representation in media and unions; interviews with media organisations and unions and women in media networks; content analysis of gender bylines and representation in the media and case studies of identified best practices. 
  • Production of a report “Women Make the News” for launch in June 2015    

The project is supported by UNESCO