World Editors Forum

No other global organisation provides the platform and opportunities for exchange and debate on these fundamental professional issues:

– Newsroom management and budgeting skills

– Technological change and its impact on journalism

– Management, selection and motivation of staff

– The role of editors in marketing their newspapers

– The application of readership research

– Design and graphics

– Publishing strategy

– Journalistic ethics and threats to press freedom
Why was it formed?

The editing profession has undergone profound change in recent years. Technological, economical and sociological developments have radically changed the business of editing newspapers. The media environment has evolved beyond recognition; the organisation and management of editorial departments and services has undergone a revolution; competition for reader loyalty and attention has become ever more intensive; the design and content of the newspaper itself has changed dramatically.

Technological breakthroughs continue to change not only the way newspapers are organised but how they relate to their readers and even the means by which they bring them the news.

At the same time, editors increasingly need new management, financial, budgeting and human resources skills to perform effectively as managers in a changing environment.

It has never, perhaps, been so difficult for editors to decide how best they can continue to balance their traditional role of serving their communities, with the need to survive and grow under fierce new economic and competitive pressures.

Set against this background, the ethical and political role of the press is constantly being called into question, requiring editors to be ever vigilant and vocal in their defence of the freedom of the press.

This is why dialogue among newspaper professionals is essential.

WAN Activity Report, June 2001-May 2002

This activity report will give a broad picture of the activities undertaken over the second year of the plan in pursuit of these objectives.To promote the development of free and independent press globally WAN has continued and intensified its day-to-day mission of protesting the jailing and murder of journalists and the censorship, suspension and banning of newspapers and magazines world-wide. Even the most repressive governments have been seen to bend under the pressure and publicity that we and other organisations can give to their crimes.

We have organized more than 250 protest campaigns, directed at over 50 countries, through petitions, letters, complaints to inter-governmental organisations, editorial exposure, and diplomatic pressure from our own governments. One such campaign, where WAN used all the means and influence at its disposition, led in July 2001 to the release of San San Nweh, the joint 2001 WAN Golden Pen laureate, from her prison in Burma.

In September 2001, WAN brought together more than 240 publishers, journalists and free press advocates from 25 countries in Bilbao, Spain, for a conference to examine attacks on the media by Basque terrorists. The conference followed the visit to Madrid and the Basque country by a WAN mission to investigate reports of an alarming increase in pressure, threats, intimidation and attacks on media by the ETA group. The Bilbao conference condemned ‘without reservation’ the ‘outrageous and cowardly’ attacks and expressed ‘total solidarity with journalists and media in the Basque country in their dangerous and courageous work’. Participants called on all political parties to denounce all forms of violence against the media.


campaigns vigorously against press freedom violations and obstacles ;

– helps newspapers in developing countries, through training and other co-operation projects ;

– channels legal, material and humanitarian aid to victimized publishers and journalists.

Through its Training & Events Division, the World Association of Newspapers :

– helps newspapers to increase readership and sustain and increase advertising and other revenues through study tours, seminars, publications and so on ;

Through the World Editors Forum, the World Association of Newspapers :

– provides opportunities for senior news executives to exchange ideas and information about the business of editing newspapers.

Through The Fund for Press Freedom Development, the World Association of Newspapers :

– promotes the growth of free and independent newspapers in developing countries through training and other forms of assistance.

Through its Newspapers in Education programme, the World Association of Newspapers :

– organises international co-operation to encourage the culture of reading newspapers through the establishment and development of NIE activity world-wide.

The World Association of Newspapers has formal consultative status to represent the newspaper industry at UNESCO, the United Nations and the Council of Europe.


Founded in 1948, the World Association of Newspapers groups 71 national newspaper associations, individual newspaper executives in 100 nations, 13 news agencies, and nine regional press organisations. It is a non-profit, non-government organisation.

In all, the Association represents more than 18,000 publications on the five continents.

The World Association of Newspapers has three major objectives :

– Defending and promoting press freedom and the economic independence of newspapers as an essential condition for that freedom ;

– Contributing to the development of newspaper publishing by fostering communications and contacts between newspaper executives from different regions and cultures ;

– Promoting co-operation between its member organisations, whether national, regional or worldwide.

In pursuit of these objectives, the World Association of Newspapers notably :

– represents the newspaper industry in all international discussions on media issues, to defend both press freedom and the professional and business interests of the press ;

– promotes a world-wide exchange of information and ideas on producing better and more profitable newspapers ;

– opposes restrictions of all kinds on the free flow of information, on the circulation of newspapers and on advertising ;