May 3 Launch of the International News Safety Institute

'Journalism is Worth Living For'



On 3 May 2003 the world comes together, in the shadow of war, to celebrate the values of press freedom. World Press Freedom Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on the quality of press freedom around the world and to remember the sacrifices made by our colleagues in the Gulf and in other regional conflicts. It is a time to commit ourselves to continue the defence of journalism from violence and intimidation, to demand that editorial independence is guaranteed and to pay tribute to journalists and media staff who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.


This World Press Freedom Day is, more than ever, the time for journalists to come together in solidarity to expose conditions of fear, repression and censorship. It is also a time for action to combat the risks that journalists face.


To mark World Press Freedom Day 2003 the International Federation of Journalists is joining with a coalition of media organisations, unions of journalists and press freedom groups to launch the International News Safety Institute (INSI) - a global campaign to create a culture of safety within the media industry and to make free and independent journalism worth living for the world over.


On 2 May 2003 the INSI will be formally launched at the International Press Centre in Brussels. It will be simultaneously launched at meetings being organised by UNESCO in Jamaica, by press freedom campaigners in London, and it will feature in World Press Freedom Day events around the world.


The INSI is a global media safety network founded by the International Federation of Journalists in co-operation with the International Press Institute. It is backed by more than 100 founding groups from the world of journalism, human rights and press freedom.


The institute will promote concrete actions and foster best practice in the provision of safety training, materials and assistance to journalists and media staff. Full details of the Institute's objectives are on the Internet. We ask every journalists' union, in every country, to join the campaign to launch and to sustain INSI. What you can do


Unions should write to their governments to tell them about the launch of INSI.

Unions should write to media organisations calling on them to work with journalists and others to establish INSI and to adopt safety codes for media employees. All media organisations should include safety clauses in collective bargaining agreements and to provide safety training for all journalists.

Unions should incorporate safety advice for journalists in their websites and union publications. IFJ and INSI additionally have a significant collection of safety information for media staff which is freely available to all of our members. Safety information can be found on the IFJ website.

Unions should obtain copies, either from the web-site or in hard-copy form, of the IFJ Survival Guide for Journalists LIVE NEWS. It is available for download off our website.

Finally, we ask all unions to incorporate fund-raising for the IFJ Safety Fund into World Press Freedom Day activities. May 3 is a moment for solidarity with all journalists who exist in appalling conditions of fear and want. Donations, regardless of size, are vital to ensure the Safety Fund can meet the most urgent cases of need. It is the only global assistance fund for journalists established by journalists. Since 1992 it has helped hundreds of colleagues in crisis situations. We need your help to continue this work.


The IFJ will encourage, support and publicise your press freedom events and activities. Just ask us. We will provide you with basic documents and draft letters to send to governments and media organisations. Contact the Human Rights and Safety Officer, Sarah De Jong via email at safety@ifj.org or our Safety Fund Campaigner, Amanda Hendry at amanda@ifj.org.


Thank you for your support. Thank you for helping us to make journalism safer for all.


With Kind Regards,


Aidan White

General Secretary