The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, or WAN-IFRA, is the global organisation of the world’s press, representing more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.
The organisation was created by the July 2009 merger of the World Association of Newspapers and IFRA, the research and service organisation for the news publishing industry. The two organisations have a 110-year history between them as the global representatives of the world’s press.
The mission of the organisation is simple: “To be the indispensable partner of newspapers and the entire news publishing industry worldwide, particularly our members, in the defence and promotion of press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses and technology.”
With its wide array of conferences, training, seminars and research reports, WAN-IFRA is a trade association covering every aspect of newspaper and news publishing. Its events and publications provide information and advice on strategic and management issues, on editorial matters, on improving print quality and efficiency, on increasing advertising and readership, on circulation sales and distribution, and much more.
The organisation serves as a world-wide platform for the exchange of ideas, information and experiences among its members and other participants in the news publishing industry.
WAN-IFRA annually organises the two major meetings of the global newspaper and news publishing industry: the World Publishing Expo, which brings together publishers and the industry suppliers that support them; and the World Newspaper Congress, World Editors Forum and Info Services Expo, the global summit of the world’s press.
As a trade association with a human rights mandate, WAN-IFRA is unique among global industry organisations. Its first objective is the defence and promotion of press freedom and the economic independence of newspapers, which is an essential condition to that freedom.
It is also the industry’s leading “think tank” for new strategies, business models, and operational improvements. WAN-IFRA issues a wide variety of research reports through its “Shaping the Future of the Newspaper” project, which identifies, analyses and publicises all important breakthroughs and opportunities that can benefit newspapers all over the world.
WAN-IFRA oversees initiatives to ensure that the press’ essential role in society is understood and respected. The organisation fights to protect copyright on-line, to maintain open coverage of newsworthy events, and to help newspaper companies go “green”. WAN-IFRA represents the newspaper industry in all international discussions: it has formal associate status to represent the newspaper industry at UNESCO, and consultative status at the United Nations and the Council of Europe. It also works closely with the 79 national newspaper associations within its membership.
WAN-IFRA carries out its work from headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, and in Paris, France, with subsidiaries in Singapore and India.