South Asia Media Solidarity Network - SAMSN

The South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) is an alliance of journalists’ trade unions, press freedom organisations and journalists in South Asia committed to working together to promote freedom of expression, freedom of association and journalists’ rights in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, co-ordinated by IFJ Asia-Pacific.


The formation of a South Asia regional network was initially proposed at a meeting of journalists, trade unions and press freedom organisations in Kathmandu in September 2002. SAMSN was then formally established at a regional meeting in Kathmandu in September 2004. At that meeting, participants agreed to stand in solidarity and work together for media reform and an independent pluralist media and to build public respect for the work of journalists across South Asia.


This solidarity is based on a shared understanding of the importance of the craft of journalism, a commitment to good will and an understanding that journalists need to support each other to do their job in safety. Solidarity is also based on an understanding that journalists’ unions and press freedom organisations work together for these common interests and are crucial allies in this shared concern.


Follow-up meetings were held in 2006 , 2007, 2008 and 2009. The 2006 meeting adopted an action plan for the next two years which identified trade union capacity building as a key issue for journalists’ organisations in South Asia. 


The network is coordinated by IFJ Asia-Pacific, which in 2004 appointed a South Asia Regional Coordinator, based in New Delhi, India, to consolidate regional interaction and programming.


SAMSN Charter


At the September 2009 meeting, also in Kathmandu, SAMSN members adopted a Charter of joint commitment and determination to continue to defend and protect journalists' safety, journalists' rights and press freedom in South Asia. The Charter addresses themes including the establishment and fostering stronger trade unions as the guardians of fair working conditions, human rights, diversity and editorial independence, regional support, and training for journalists working in conflict zones and public recognition, respect and protection for those journalists whose responsibility it is to defend the public right to information in the face of risk their individual personal safety. At a time when South Asia boasts the unfavourable title as one of the most dangerous regions for the journalism profession, this 2009 SAMSN Charter highlights initiatives to be adopted to achieve greater solidarity among SAMSN members and a region-wide respect for human rights and press freedom as democratic freedoms journalisms uphold.


To read the 2009 SAMSN Charter, click here:

SAMSN 2009 Background paper.pdf


To read the 2009 SAMSN Background paper, click here:

SAMSN 2009 Charter.pdf


To read the 2008 SAMSN Charter, click here:

SAMSN Charter September 2008.pdf

The SAMSN charter was based on the SAMSN Declaration adopted at the SAMSN meeting in 2007. To read the SAMSN Declaration of 2007, click here:

SAMSN members declaration FINAL.pdf


SAMSN Members


SAMSN members include: Afghan Independent Journalists' Association, Bangladesh Journalists' Rights Forum (BJRF), Dhaka Reporters' Unity, Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum, Media Watch, All India Newspapers Employees' Federation, Indian Journalists' Union, National Union of Journalists India, Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), National Union of Journalists Nepal, Nepal Press Union, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Pakistan Press Foundation, Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association, Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Unions and Free Media Movement.


SAMSN Activities


SAMSN’s main activities include drawing attention to violations of press freedom, conducting advocacy and campaigns for journalists’ and media rights, sharing resources and information, issuing a monthly e-bulletin and preparing annual press freedom reports. SAMSN representatives promote regional solidarity by participating in country missions, training programs, forums or round-tables and Days of Action.


For more information, please contact