South Asia Media Solidarity Network

Journalists' trade unions, press freedom organisations and journalists from South Asia have agreed to work together in support of press freedom, freedom of expression and journalists' rights through a continuing South Asia Media Solidarity Network.

A coalition of South Asian journalists' unions and press freedom organisations, meeting under the umbrella of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Nepal from September 26-28, 2004, agreed to stand in solidarity and work together for media reform, for an independent pluralist media and to build public respect for the work of journalists.

The September 2004 meeting is the second meeting of the network. The inaugural meeting was held in September 2002, also in Kathmandu.

This network will enable the ongoing exchange of information on press freedom and rights of journalists, particularly through email and the internet.

It will:

  • Continue to document attacks on press freedom, freedom of expression and journalists' rights

  • Provide information for the annual IFJ report on press freedom in South Asia

  • Encourage coordination between journalists' unions and press freedom organisations at a national and regional level

  • Develop a standardised format for documenting press freedom violations and attacks on journalists

  • Develop a training program to build capacity to support this work

  • Seek to convene a third biennial meeting of the network in two years time

    The International Federation of Journalists will coordinate the network.

    The decision to continue with the network was made by representatives of journalists' trade unions, press freedom organisations, journalists and experts from Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the second biennial colloquium on human rights and conflict reporting in South Asia held in Kathmandu, Nepal, from September 26-28.

    The colloquium also adopted a four part plan for further action including: a safer environment for journalists; a fair workplace; assistance for journalists on human rights, diversity and conflict; plus concrete assistance and follow up work.

    Further information about the colloquium including papers and action plan is available at the IFJ Asia web site:

    The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries