Reporters Without Borders establishes specific and long-term assistance projects aimed at ensuring the survival and development of local news media and organisations that defend free expression.
Support for local press
The Journal des journaux in Chad
On 27 March 2008, Reporters Without Borders provided financial support for the publication in N’Djamena of a Journal des Journaux (“Newspaper of Newspapers”), a one-off issue combining most of Chad’s independent weeklies. Put together by journalists from six media that are currently not operating (N’Djamena Hebdo, Le Temps, Notre Temps, l’Observateur, Le Miroir and radio FM-Liberté), the 12-page issue included a plea for press freedom in Chad, and in particular, for the repeal of a press law adopted by decree on 20 February while a state of emergency was in force.
Kabul Weekly in Afghanistan
Reporters Without Borders provided a sizable sum of financial support in 2007 to Kabul Weekly, an, independent Afghan newspaper run by journalist Faheem Dashty, in order to enable it to resume publishing. Created in 1993 and relaunched a few weeks after the fall on the Taliban in January 2002, it stopped publishing in November 2006 because of financial difficulties due above all to the lack of advertising revenue. With the aid provided, the newspaper was able to acquire new equipment and recruit more staff, and resumed publishing on 16 May 2007.
Support for press freedom organisations
Journalist in Danger (JED) in Democratic Republic of Congo
Reporters Without Borders has for several years been providing financial support to Journalist in Danger (JED), an independent press freedom organisation that was created by a group of Congolese journalists in Kinshasa. Reporters Without Borders pays the rent of its office and some of its other operating costs.
A march in protest against Franck Ngyke’s murder
Development projects in Iraq
In March 2006, three years after the start of the war in Iraq, Reporters Without Borders announced the creation of a support fund for the families of journalists killed in Iraq.
The first 20 grants were allocated in cooperation with the Union of Iraqi Journalists during a trip to Kurdistan from 2 to 6 April, during which the families of slain journalists were visited. Part of these support funds were used to provide appropriate medical treatment to journalists injured in bombings, shootings or abductions.
During a visit to Baghdad in May 2007, a Reporters Without Borders delegation provided financial assistance to the families of 57 journalists killed in other parts of Iraq.
The annual Reporters Without Borders - Fondation de France prize in the “Defender of Press Freedom” category was awarded on 5 December 2007 to the Iraqi Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO) for its vital work in reporting the many acts of violence against journalists in Iraq. The award includes 2,500 euros in prize money.
The JFO was created in 2004 in response to the fact that many journalists were being imprisoned and mistreated by the Iraqi security forces. Mostly victims of police violence themselves, the founding members decided to join forces in order to help imprisoned journalists. In just a few years, it has become one of the most reliable sources of information about press freedom violations in Iraq.