We are making reliable information available to everyone.
In our ideal world everyone has access to independent, reliable and timely information. To make this possible, Free Press Unlimited supports media and journalists worldwide.
Our vision is short and to the point: People deserve to know. All over the world.
Our mission stems from Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Everyone has the right to independent, reliable and timely information. People need that information to control their living conditions and to make the right decisions.
To that end, press freedom and freedom of information are indispensable. That is why Free Press Unlimited supports local media professionals and journalists, particularly in countries with limited (press) freedom. They are close to their audience and are the best guarantee for a sustainable, professional and diverse media landscape. We enable them to give people access to the information that helps them survive, to develop themselves, and with which they can monitor their governments.
Our core values
Free Press Unlimited does not accept assignments from financial pressure groups or political groups and follows her own independent strategy. This means that Free Press Unlimited works with independent (media) partners who are able to execute their activities freely and independently and whose aim is to search for the truth and provide information to the public.
Free Press Unlimited aims to inspire local media professionals and organisations to get the best out of their talents and opportunities by sharing knowledge and ideas. We are result-oriented, we make a difference and reach a large audience.
Free Press Unlimited searches for smart, creative solutions for the benefit of free access to information, even if there are obstacles or barriers.
Free Press Unlimited is personally involved and persistent in matters concerning the local citizens and (media) organisations. Our approach is a long term involvement with a focus on supporting individuals and media organisations in their development so they can become autonomous.
The starting point for Free Press Unlimited is the local situation and culture. We are looking for partnership and participation and we take into account the local capacity and technological development.
Free Press Unlimited is directed by Ruth Kronenburg and Leon Willems. Together they manage a team of more than 80 passionate professionals. These professionals work closely with our partners and oversee more than 100 media projects in more than 40 countries worldwide. Our office is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Leon Willems (1961) was appointed Director Policy & Programmes of Free Press Unlimited in May 2011. With help from his international network, Free Press Unlimited has grown into a prominent international press freedom organization, which is active in more than 40 countries. According to Leon Willems, media are the crucial building blocks of a vital democracy and contribute in an important way to the development of a society in general. Maintaining independent media is paramount in all his activities.
Ruth Kronenburg (1964) has been Director of Operations for Free Press Unlimited since 2011. Together with Leon Willems, she forms the management of the organisation and is responsible for the growth of the organisation. In this role she is specifically responsible for healthy financial management, internal and external communication and securing knowledge and quality within the organisation. All her previous work in the commercial media world comes together in her current work, but now with one extra dimension: contributing to a better world.
In determining the board remuneration, the Directive on Remuneration Scheme Directors of Charities of the VFI and the Wijffels Code were followed. The remuneration is subsequently fixed in accordance with the salary scales in the Legal Regulations of Free Press Unlimited. These are revised annually and made known to stakeholders and interested parties. The level of the Board remuneration is mentioned each year in the Annual Report. Free Press Unlimited places importance on mentioning that the Board and management remuneration (including members of the Management Team) is considerably lower than the maximum allowable remuneration in compliance with the Wijffels Code.
Free Press Unlimited has a Supervisory Board. The tasks and responsibilities of the Supervisory Board are described in the Articles of Association. The Chairman and members of the Supervisory Board perform their duties without remuneration.
Free Press Unlimited has its own Legal Regulations where terms and conditions of employment for staff (including Board and management) are set out. Revisions take place in consultation with the Personnel Representatives. Grading takes place based on set function descriptions and corresponding salary scales (maximum 10). Remuneration takes place in accordance with the Focus system. The Focus system is described in detail in the Legal Regulations.
Legal Entities and Partnerships Identification Number (RSIN): 850683476
Commercial Register No.: 52957535
Monica Bremer - chair
Paul Hofstra - chair of Financial Advisory Committee
Ronald Gijsbertsen - on the recommendation of the works council
Nani Jansen Reventlow - member
Ellen Soerjatin - member (and member of Financial Advisory Committee)
Hennah Draaibaar - member
Free Press Unlimited works with over 90 local media partners worldwide. Together we work on our mission to make independent news and information available to everyone.
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 a long term goal and three intermediate goals.
Our long term 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 fulfill 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 1: Jimmy A. Domingo
Photo 2: Mehrab Afridi
Photo 3: Bodine Koopmans
Photo 4: Jodi Hilton