WAN-IFRA Media Freedom Spotlight 2022

2022-12-22. Collaboration and solidarity in action are vital to overcoming the many challenges ahead. In the past twelve months, the incredible support received from WAN-IFRA members and partners shows the unprecedented capacity of this industry to work together to sustain free independent media.

photo Sumaya Hisham/Reuters

by Andrew Heslop | December 22, 2022

Media sustainability is rooted in healthy, inclusive, trustworthy and safe media organisations. Healthy media organisations that are continuously adapting to rapidly changing business environments; Inclusive media organisations that recognise the business imperative of diversity and gender equality; Trustworthy media organisations that strive to produce high-quality public interest journalism; Safe media organisations that protect journalists in newsrooms, online and in the field.
If you feel a strong connection to these values, please consider continuing your support of our efforts and, above all, stand in solidarity, with WAN-IFRA, and with colleagues fighting for the freedom of the press, wherever it is threatened.

WAN-IFRA Media Freedom by the Numbers

In 2022, WAN-IFRA Media Freedom worked with 462 media professionals from 120 media in 16 countries in support of these pillars. WAN-IFRA is helping to advance media sustainability from every angle.


Support Free Media in Ukraine

The incredibly generous support of WAN-IFRA members has provided much-needed support to our colleagues in Ukraine this year. We have distributed over €200,000 of your contributions to 100+ local and regional media titles to assist with salaries and basic running costs, provide insurance cover for journalists on the front lines, source mobile power generators, and deliver newsprint to keep the presses rolling.

The conflict continues, and with the arrival of winter, what were already extremely difficult conditions are turning desperate. We urge you to consider supporting our ongoing efforts to help keep independent Ukrainian media running.


Donate to our ‘We, the Media’ fund

Fighting for A Free Press in Ukraine – and Beyond

Independent, professional journalists need financially viable outlets and media outlets across the European Eastern Neighbouring countries face tremendous challenges. Press freedom in post-Soviet states fluctuates, lying somewhere between the freedom of the Baltics and the authoritarianism of Russia itself. The threats are physical, financial, and technological. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a powerful reminder of the vital work these journalists and their newsrooms do — and how precarious press freedoms are in the face of aggression from authoritarian leaders worldwide.
In 2022, WAN-IFRA joined an €8 million 3-year EU-funded programme to support independent media in six European ’neighbours’. The consortium led by DT Global comprises WAN-IFRA and the European Journalism Centre.  Target countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine. The Programme aims at taking a comprehensive approach to providing tailor-made support to improve the immediate and long-term financial viability of independent media outlets. This will include online and face-to-face training, on-the-job and individual mentoring, and tutoring to improve quality and develop new media products, whether editorial content or managerial solutions. Capacity building will also aim to enhance management, and marketing skills as well as support the development of new revenue streams, increase understanding of audiences and make necessary technological investments.

Golden Pen of Freedom

The 2022 award recognises Gazeta Wyborcza and the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation – a news organisation that stands as a beacon of independence and as a bulwark against authoritarianism; a paper of record that demonstrates its values daily, across its pages, through support to young journalists, in the promotion of local news, and through work across borders in solidarity with colleagues in need.

WIN Leadership Awards

Recognising the exemplary contribution of an editor to her newsroom, and under her leadership, her media organisation’s contribution to society, the 2022 awards went to Faith Zaba, editor of the Zimbabwe Independent; Diana Moukalled, co-founder of Daraj Media in Lebanon; and Regina “Ging” Reyes, Senior Vice President and Head of Integrated News and Current Affairs Division of ABS-CBN Corporation in the Philippines.


WAN-IFRA speaks out in defence of press freedom to reduce censorship and champion the editorial and economic independence of media. Our advocacy campaigns in support of colleagues from around the globe are endorsed and promoted by members, local Media Freedom Committees, professional colleagues and peers from the global human rights and freedom of expression community.

Find out more about our work

Women in News

We partner with media organisations and individuals to close the gender gap in news. We do so in the belief that balanced newsrooms, boardrooms and content are key to building resilient news organisations. Our programmes empower people and organisations to work together in support of a healthier, lasting and inclusive news industry. Read more



The key to effectively dealing with any crisis is good preparation. When it comes to keeping journalists safe, nothing is closer to the truth. Our approach guides media through all aspects of safety for their newsrooms and their journalists. Read more


Digital A-Z


A foundational training programme to help media professionals in any role understand the impact of digital on the news media industry, and how to become drivers of change within their media. Read more


Media Freedom Podcast


The latest season of our long-running podcast explores journalism across Africa from all angles, showcasing talent and promoting diversity, addressing the challenges and highlighting the opportunities for media to succeed across the continent. Read more


Climate Reporting Africa


Awarding $270,000 in grants to media organisations across the African continent, this fantastic online resource showcases some of the work produced through the initiative from each of the 27 successful recipients, allowing users to explore the coverage and investigate the issues exposed by our media partners. Read more

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