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The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization made up of 76 national newspaper associations, 12 news agencies, 10 regional press organisations and individual newspaper executives in 100 countries.

Founded in 1948, the association represents more than 18,000 publications on five continents. Newspapers represent a 190 billion US dollar business globally with 1.6 billion readers a day. Newspapers are the world's second largest advertising medium (29.8%), exceeding the combined budget of radio, outdoor, cinema, magazines and the internet. Combined with magazines, print is the world's largest advertising medium with a 42 percent share.

WAN's main objectives are to:

  • defend and promote press freedom and the economic independence of newspapers as an essential condition for that freedom.
  • support the development of newspaper publishing around the world by fostering communications and contacts between newspaper executives from different regions and cultures.
  • promote co-operation between its member organisations, whether national, regional or worldwide.

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

  • 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 worldwide 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;

  • 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 victimised publishers and journalists;

WAN is a member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a global network of non-governmental organizations that monitors free expression violations worldwide and defends journalists, writers, Internet users and others who are persecuted for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

It also belongs to the IFEX Tunisia Monitoring Group, a coalition of 16 free expression groups that seeks to pressure Tunisia into improving its human rights record.

WAN works closely in a number of fields with the European Newspaper Publishers Association, a regional association based in Brussels.

On June 19th 2009, WAN President Gavin O'Reilly revealed in an interview with Huffington Post blogger Faisal J. Abbas that the World Association of Newspapers has agreed to merge with the Germany based publishing body, IFRA, which has more than 3000 members in 70 countries. [300966]


Through its Shaping the Future of the Newspaper project, WAN:

  • identifies and analyses media trends, new technology, new business models, multi-channel distribution and the impact of convergence, etc.;

Through its Training & Events Division, WAN:

  • 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, WAN:

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

Through The Fund for Press Freedom Development, WAN:

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

Through its Newspapers in Education programme, WAN:

  • organises international co-operation to encourage the culture of reading newspapers through the establishment and development of NIE activity worldwide.

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


WAN administers the Golden Pen of Freedom Award, a prestigious prize that honours a journalist or media organisation anywhere in the world that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and promotion of press freedom.

Monitoring Killed Journalists

Since 1998, WAN has maintained annual tallies of media employees killed around the world. The worst year on record is 2006, when 110 media employees died in the line of duty. [300967]

Officers of WAN

The President of WAN is Gavin O'Reilly, Chief Operating Officer of Ireland-based Independent News and Media plc.

The Treasurer is Fred Arp, Chief Financial Officer at Telegraaf Media Group in the Netherlands.

The Chief Executive Officer is Timothy Balding, who heads the Paris-based Secretariat.

A full list of officers and board members can be found at [

See also

External links

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