Afghan media workers and their families are in dire peril following the Taliban’s overthrow of the national government. So far in 2021, more than 30 journalists have been killed, wounded, assaulted, or tortured. Afghan women journalists are particularly vulnerable to retribution from the Taliban.
Through the Media Safety & Solidarity Fund, MEAA is working with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to provide emergency financial support to for Afghan women media workers and their families so they can find safe houses in Afghanistan, or assistance with evacuation and relocation to new countries.
Please help raise funds for the Afghan Women Journalists Appeal by making a small donation to the Media Safety & Solidarity Fund – click on the DONATE button above.
N.B. MSSF notes that the situation in Afghanistan is volatile, and circumstances may suddenly change. The Fund and the IFJ will review the operations of the fund to ensure the needs of the women and their families are met.
The fund trustees direct the International Federation of Journalists Asia-Pacific to implement projects to be funded by the MSSF. The fund’s trustees are Marcus Strom, national MEAA Media section president; the two national MEAA Media vice-presidents, Karen Percy and Michael Janda; two MEAA Media federal councillors, Stefan Armbruster and Kathy McLeish; and Brent Edwards representing New Zealand’s journalists’ union, the E tū, which also supports the fund.
Aside from contributions made by MEAA members as a result of enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations, the other main fundraising activities of the fund are the annual Press Freedom Australia dinners, auctions and raffles; and the gala presentation dinner for the annual Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism. In 2014 and again in 2015, Japan’s public broadcasting union Nipporo also made contributions to the fund.
During the year the MSSF co-funded the second IFJ South East Asia Media Freedom report, which included research from seven countries comprising the IFJ’s South East Asia Journalist Union network (SEAJU), including a survey using a journalist safety indicatory framework, complemented by qualitative research of journalist safety in the region.
MSSF also provided the final educational support for the child of a murdered Fijian journalist who died of injuries after a brutal attack by soldiers in 2006.
MSSF provided support for Swe Win, editor of Myanmar Now, who is in self‐exile in Australia after a gunshot attack in his home country.
In June MSSF supported training to improve reporting and focusing on investigative journalism techniques for the Media Association blong Vanuatu (MAV).
Since the military coup in Myanmar in February, independent journalism there has been forced underground. Journalists have been beaten and shot, at least 85 have been arrested, more than 40 detained and several jailed for up to three years. Independent media outlets have been stripped of their licences to operate, and dozens of warrants have been issued for the arrest of other journalists.
Burmese journalists are in hiding not only in Myanmar but elsewhere in the region, seeking safety from persecution and violence. However, Thailand has just sentenced three Burmese journalists to seven months jail and fined them for entering the country.
Despite all these risks, Burmese journalists courageously continue to work underground in Myanmar or Thailand to ensure the crimes of the military junta are revealed to the rest of the world.
The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance is working with the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand to provide emergency financial support to exiled Burmese journalists working on the Thai-Burma border. Please help with a small donation through the Media Safety & Solidarity Fund.
The annual highlight of the Nepal Children’s Education Fund was a three-day summer camp. About 30 children are assisted through the program, which was established in 2010 to help the children of journalists who have been killed since the transition to democracy began in 2005. To date, this financial support has been $181,472 (including administration fees paid to the International Federation of Journalists).
In April and May 2015, Nepal was hit by a serious of devastating earthquakes that left 6,000 dead. The media in Nepal was forced to work in make-shift shelters. Through MSSF financial support given to the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), a three-day, trauma and journalism workshop was held to better equip journalists to report during and after natural disasters. Read the full story on the IFJ Asia-Pacific website.
|Balance as at July 1||42,783||79,797|
|Funds raised during the year||52,738||27,789|
|Payments made during the year||(27,620)||(64,803)|
|Balance as at June 30||67,901||42,783|