RWB: The Worldwide Press Freedom Index
“Don’t wait to be deprived of news to stand up and fight for it”
In some countries a journalist can be thrown in prison for years for a single offending word or photo. Jailing or killing a journalist removes a vital witness to events and threatens the right of us all to be informed. Reporters Without Borders has fought for press freedom on a daily basis since it was founded in 1985.
Investigate, expose and support
Reporters Without Borders:
defends journalists and media assistants imprisoned or persecuted for doing their job and exposes the mistreatment and torture of them in many countries.
fights against censorship and laws that undermine press freedom.
gives financial aid each year to 300 or so journalists or media outlets in difficulty (to pay for lawyers, medical care and equipment) as well to the families of imprisoned journalists.
works to improve the safety of journalists, especially those reporting in war zones.
Before taking action, Reporters Without Borders researchers, who each handle a region (Africa, the Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe and the former Soviet bloc, Middle East/ North Africa) or a topic such as the Internet, compile reports of press freedom violations. After checking the information, the researchers and the organisations’ correspondents send protest letters to the authorities to put pressure on governments which do not respect the right to inform and to be informed, and send releases to the media to drum up support for the journalists under attack.
Sometimes gathering information is not enough. A Reporters Without Borders fact-finding mission is then sent to investigate on the spot the working conditions of journalists, as well as cases of imprisoned or murdered journalists, and also to meet with the authorities in the country concerned.
Publicity campaigns conducted with the help of public relations firms aim to inform people and try to give countries which do not respect this basic right a bad name in the eyes of international institutions, the media and governments that have ties with them.
Reporters Without Borders is funded by the sale of its third-annual albums of photographs as well as calendars, by auctions, small and large donations, member dues, public grants and partnerships with private firms.
The Worldwide Press Freedom Index Issued in October, measuring the degree of freedom journalists and media have in more than 170 countries.