World Association of News Publishers




WAN-IFRA’s unique position as the global representative for the newspaper industry with a clear human rights mandate is reflected in the organisation’s conviction that financially healthy media is an essential condition for the existence of a free press. Unlike the political, social, educational or judicial sectors of society that are essential for good governance and development, but that are mainly funded from fiscal revenues, the independent media sector carries out its public interest role while at the same time responding to commercial imperatives.

In its primary mission to strengthen and support the independent press, WAN-IFRA’s global engagements are aimed at defending press freedom and promoting sustainable, financially viable media, and are aligned under three main strategic objectives:



  • Inform the general public of the scale, forms and consequences of press freedom violations worldwide and the necessity of a free and independent press for economic, social, political and cultural development.
  • Build a comprehensive advocacy and action plan to address and lift restrictions to press freedom, advancing freedom of expression as a fundamental condition for democracy and pluralism.



  • Assist media in emerging markets by providing skills and knowledge transfer, together with hands-on consultancy and training opportunities designed around the WAN-IFRA activity portfolio, tailored to the operational realities within the region.
  • Create examples of successful business models that can be implemented by others operating in similar conditions.
  • Identify and create synergies between media professionals in emerging markets and their counterparts in mature markets.
  • Test new business models for media operating in challenging (politically and financially volatile) markets.



  • Facilitate networking and effective cooperation among newspapers and news publishers at a local and global level, to durably share editorial and business know-how and strategies.
  • Contribute to establishing and strengthening national and regional newspaper associations to create permanency in development strategies.
  • Work closely with international partners to conceive and implement truly coordinated and comprehensive media development programmes in chosen countries, on the basis of new parameters for judging effectiveness, investment costs and benefits, as well as durability.


Download our Media Freedom brochure



Download our Press Freedom and Media Development info sheet or read it in e-Paper format.

Download our Info-sheet (English, French, Arabic), or contact:



  • Andrew Heslop

    Director, Media Freedom | WAN-IFRA (FR) | Paris, France

    Short Bio

    Andrew has worked for over 10 years as a journalist and editor in the UK, Spain and France. He has been with WAN-IFRA since the beginning of 2010 and was previously responsible for editorial and communications in the Press Freedom and Media Development team. Based at the organisation’s Paris secretariat, he has worked in a number of countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia as part of WAN-IFRA's on-going efforts to defend press freedom and support independent news publishers.

  • Melanie Walker

    Director, Media Development | WAN-IFRA

    Short Bio

    Melanie leads WAN-IFRA’s global media development programmes, including our signature capacity building initiatives: Media Professionals Programme (MPP), Women in News Programme (WIN), as well as the Executive Twinning Programme and Mobile News for Africa. These programmes adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to capacity building through mentoring, coaching and networking, as well as championing the development of new business models and experimentation with new platforms for journalism in emerging markets. Melanie is a media development strategist specialising in the economic growth and sustainability of media in emerging markets with an emphasis on gender. She has previously held various leadership, program development and social investment strategy positions in North America and Europe, including four years in the WAN Press Freedom department.

In its media development work, the WAN-IFRA strategy focuses on bringing a new way of thinking to the sector. WAN-IFRA has become a key player in the field of financial independence and management capacity building, conducting groundbreaking research and developing subsequent media development policies. Read more ...

In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...