| 25 Sep 2003 @ 13:59, by Letecia Layson|
Reporters Without Borders is an association officially recognised as serving the public interest
More than a third of the world's people live in countries where there is no press freedom. Reporters Without Borders works constantly to restore their right to be informed. Thirty-one media professionals lost their lives in 2001 for doing what they were paid to do -- keeping us informed. Today, more than 120 journalists around the world are in prison simply for doing their job. In Nepal, Eritrea and China, they can spend years in jail just for using the "wrong" word or photo. Reporters Without Borders believes imprisoning or killing a journalist is like eliminating a key witness and threatens everyone's right to be informed. It has been fighting such practices for more than 17 years.
Defending press freedom… every day
Reporters Without Borders, kept on constant alert via its network of over 100 correspondents, rigorously condemns any attack on press freedom world-wide by keeping the media and public opinion informed through press releases and public-awareness campaigns. The association defends journalists and other media contributors and professionals who have been imprisoned or persecuted for doing their work. It speaks out against the abusive treatment and torture that is still common practice in many countries. The organisation supports journalists who are being threatened in their own countries and provides financial and other types of support to their needy families. Reporters Without Borders is fighting to reduce the use of censorship and to oppose laws designed to restrict press freedom. The association is also working to improve the safety of journalists world-wide, particularly in war zones. It is committed to assist in the rebuilding of media groups and to provide financial and material support to news staffs experiencing hardships. Finally, since January 2002, when it created the Damocles Network, Reporters Without Borders acquired a judicial arm. In order to ensure that murderers and torturers of journalists are brought to trial, the Network provides victims with legal services and represents them before the competent national and international courts, so that proper judicial procedures can be implemented.
Reporters Without Borders : an international organisation
The organisation's initiatives are being carried out on five continents through its national branches (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland) and its offices in Abidjan, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Montreal, Nairobi, New York, Tokyo and Washington. It also works in close co-operation with local and regional press freedom organisations and with members of the "Reporters without Borders' Network," who represent Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Myanmar ("Burma"), Cuba, Eritrea, Haiti, Peru, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Russia, Tunisia and the Ukraine.
Complete contact information about the organisation's various branches is available at : www.rsf.org
www.rsf.org : a news website devoted to press freedom
Reporters Without Borders' maintains this trilingual (French, English and Spanish) website in order to keep a daily tally of attacks on press freedom as they occur throughout the world. Updated several times a day, it functions like a press-freedom news agency. It gives Internet users an opportunity to act as a group to demand the release of jailed journalists by signing on-line petitions. To circumvent censorship, it presents occasionally articles that have been banned in their country of origin, hosts newspapers that have been closed down in their homeland and serves as a forum where journalists who have been "silenced" by authorities can voice their opinions. This website, which welcomes 35,000 to 45,000 visitors per month, also provides complete reports on cases covered in the press, as well as a daily "barometer" summarising the most recent attacks on press freedom.
Three key events support the cause of press freedom
Every year, on 3 May, Reporters Without Borders celebrates World Press Freedom Day. On this occasion, it publishes a full report of the status of press freedom in more than 150 countries. In addition, the association offers news staffs around the world an opportunity to support incarcerated journalists through its "sponsorship" programme. Once a year, Sponsorship Day provides an occasion to break the silence and openly discuss the situation of these journalists who have been jailed because they chose to keep us informed. On 10 December of every year, the association awards the Reporters Without Borders - Fondation de France Prize to the journalist who has contributed the most to the cause of press freedom in his(her) country. The funds that make it possible for Reporters Without Borders to carry on its daily fight are derived from the annual sale of two photo magazines, public donations and the support provided by various institutions. Click on the image to download the campaign : Fasten your seatbelts and let's go see… Cuba, Tunisia, Turkey... Three countries that tourists dream about. This summer, Reporters Without Borders invites you to look on the other side of the picture postcard, to see the hidden face of these countries, where censorship is ever-present. You won't hear any interviews with opposition figures on the radio in Havana. Tunisian TV never fails to sing the praises of the country's president. And in Turkey, you won't hear any Kurdish music on the air waves. All the product of well-oiled systems of clamping down on dissident voices. Consult the press release