Free Press Unlimited believes that everyone has the right to reliable information. Information that enables you, as a person, to take control of your own life. It is very important that this information highlights all aspects so that you can make informed decisions, we call this independent information.
Access to information, independent media and freedom of expression are crucial to citizens and social organisations that want to combat poverty and inequality in their society. Conversely, the media need the citizens to know what is going on. By reporting independently, and making public debate possible, the media can contribute to positive change in their society.
Free Press Unlimited supports journalists and media professionals with emergency support, advice, training and capacity building in more than 40 countries. For this we made a Theory of Change in which we created an main goal and three intermediate goals.
Our main goal: a diverse, professional information landscape consisting of independent media and journalists that drive (social) change in their society.
Firmly focused on this main goal, we have carefully thought about the best ways to achieve this. We believe that the following 'intermediate goals' are crucial to ensuring local media can fulfill their important social role. These are:
- An environment that allows journalists to do their work safely and that promotes freedom of expression.
To achieve this, we are committed to achieve and promote good legislation and end impunity that perpetuates crimes against journalists. In the countries in which we work, professional media representatives play a key role. That is why Free Press Unlimited invests in these groups. Professional media representatives keep track of how often and where press freedom is compromised and stand up against specific cases of press freedom violation. Our Policy & Advocacy team helps them to raise these matters nationally.
- Media and journalists serve the interests of the population, are the voice of citizens and act as their watchdog.
Media must reflect society. That is why we help them increase the diversity in their own organisations and in their publications, particularly when it comes to women and minorities. We also support social organisations that raise people’s media-awareness and help them sift through the overwhelming amount of mostly digital information. Furthermore, we also support independent media who bring corruption and abuse of power to light and so serve as a watchdog. Thanks to research and the revelations of journalists, citizens hold their own governments and other power holders accountable. In this way, the media and citizens increase the democratic content of their society together.
- Journalists and media are professional, effective and confident of their continued existence.
Free Press Unlimited insists on the importance of professionalism for media and journalists. They must comply with internationally recognised standards and ethical codes, to earn and keep the trust of their audience. Knowledge of modern technology is also essential in a world where mobile phones and social media play a major role. Journalists need to know how they can work safely (digitally), so they can properly fulfil their watchdog role. Free Press Unlimited supports local media and journalists worldwide to work professionally and (therefore) safely. And to make them financially independent, so that their continued existence – and therefore a diverse media landscape – is also guaranteed in the long term.
Photo: Jodi Hilton